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Agile and Virtual Organizations

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What organization are you familiar with that you would consider the most agile, virtual organization Why Starting off it is imperative that one defines what is exactly meant by an agile and virtual organization, an agile and virtual organization is one that creates a virtual network of companies and identifies the core profitability processes for the organization and builds its virtual network around that core business process in order to earn high profits. There are 3 major components of an agile and virtual organization i.e. these companies outsource, build strategic alliances, have or are moving towards a boundary less structure and qualify as a learning organization. It is very important that the 3 different terms that have been used can be distinguished amongst and hence it is extremely important to define these terms. Outsourcing means that a company gives another company the task of handling some module of their business process but this does not go without gaining some control over the company to which the contract has been given out to , where as in strategic business alliances two or more than two firms form a ‘team’ in which they concentrate on what each does best and hence end up creating value for the customers. There are a numerous advantages of such alliances and outsourcing activities. A boundary less organization means that an organization is boundary less on basically 4 major fronts
1) Horizontal boundaries- boundaries that exist at the same managerial levels within an organization due to the separation of each and every division
2) Vertical boundaries- where a hierarchal structure exists there are vertical boundaries
3) Geographic boundaries
4) External Interface Boundaries- how easily can people outside the company interact with the company and the rules and regulations defining how the employees of the company will interact with the people outside the company, be it customers, suppliers or even the competitors of the company.
The company that seems to best fit in the above mentioned description is the giant in the cellular phone world i.e. Nokia. Nokia has been a company that qualifies as a truly virtual and agile company because it has a truly global reach with its services being provided all over the world and innovatory products being introduced all around the world at the same time, for a company to fit this profile it has to be virtual and agile. Not long ago Nokia took pride in the fact that it produced each and everything by itself but not any more because of the highly competitive world now Nokia has identified its core business feature as providing mobility to the world and hence has outsourced most of the things and even innovatory micro chips that Nokia build through it Ramp.D. in January of 2004 Nokia outsourced its Information Technology to the IBM, the contract was to last for 5 years and a bidding was held for the contract which IBM won for $251 million. (taken from http://www.computerworld.com/managementtopics/outsourcing/story/0,10801,89134,00.html) Nokia has also built a strategic alliance with Oracle, to provide all Nokia smart phones with push button email technology and this alliance has already started bearing fruit because the Blackberry smart phone from Nokia has this technology and is available on the market.
References
Daft, Richard (2000). Management. Dryden Press.