Leadership in uncertain times

The role of technology

Leadership in uncertain times: The role of technology

From global pandemics to economic turmoil and geopolitical tensions, today’s business world faces a multitude of uncertainties that affect the day-to-day business environment. These uncertainties impact the entire organization, from operational planning to long-term strategizing. Modern technologies and digital transformation can simplify business management in such uncertain times and help companies adapt to change, seize opportunities, and successfully lead their organization through turbulent times. However, there are also many uncertainties associated with digital transformation, which is why managers are often hesitant to embrace it. We explain how modern technology can help you manage in uncertain times.

What constitutes uncertain times?

Uncertain times are characterized by increased volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, which is often summarized by the acronym VUCA. These circumstances make it difficult for companies to create long-term plans and instead require a high degree of adaptability and flexibility.
The effects of uncertain times on the business world are manifold. Companies are faced with rapidly changing market conditions that can affect their operating models, supply chains, and customer relationships. Financial instability and unpredictable events can affect profitability and growth. Uncertainty can also shake consumer and investor confidence, which can lead to a drop in demand and reduced investment.

The role of the manager

Amid these turbulent circumstances, managers play a crucial role. The traditional notion of leadership as a hierarchical authority giving clear instructions seems to work less and less in the face of great uncertainty. Instead, leaders need to be more flexible, resourceful, and agile to keep pace with rapidly changing conditions. However, the role of leaders in uncertain times is not limited to stabilizing business operations, but also to creating an environment of trust and security for their teams. They need to acknowledge uncertainty, communicate openly, and help their teams adapt to new realities. At the same time, they need to develop visions for the future that will enable their organizations to position themselves for long-term success.

Technology as a catalyst for change

New technologies can both cause uncertainty and help to overcome it. For example, the introduction of new technologies or disruptive innovations can disrupt traditional industries and business models, which can lead to uncertainty and turbulence. Similarly, technological developments such as automation and artificial intelligence can lead to changes in the world of work. These often trigger fears of job losses and economic instability. In this respect, technology can be a driver of uncertain times, especially if companies and societies are not adequately prepared for them.
On the other hand, technology can also help to overcome uncertain times. By using technology, companies can become more agile, adapt more quickly to change, and identify new opportunities. Cloud computing, data analytics, automation, and digital communication tools are examples of technologies that can help companies optimize their operations, reduce costs, and respond more flexibly to changing market conditions. In addition, technologies such as telemedicine, remote learning, or virtual collaboration can help maintain continuity in areas such as healthcare, education, and work, even when face-to-face interactions are limited. So in uncertain times, technology not only acts as a catalyst for change but also as a critical lever that enables leaders to adapt quickly and identify opportunities.

Digital transformation and agility

One keyword is repeatedly mentioned in this context: digital transformation. It refers to the comprehensive use of digital technologies and the redesign of business processes, products, and services. This changes the way companies work and creates added value for customers. This transformation goes beyond the mere automation of existing processes and aims to bring about far-reaching changes throughout the entire organization.
At its core, digital transformation is about how companies use technology to develop innovative business models, improve customer experience, increase operational efficiency, and create new revenue streams. This can include the introduction of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain.
However, digital transformation not only affects the technology itself but also how people work, communicate, and make decisions with it. It therefore also requires a cultural change within the organization, the promotion of a culture of innovation, cooperation between different departments, and an open attitude towards change. However, it is precisely these necessary changes that are a frequent reason for managers’ hesitation with regard to digital transformation.
Ultimately, however, digital transformation can help companies remain competitive and adapt to an increasingly digitalized world. Companies that successfully implement digital transformations improve their agility, and their customer understanding and more easily develop innovative solutions that allow them to compete in an ever-changing business environment.

How digitalization helps managers

  • Greater flexibility: The adoption of cloud computing enables organizations to build flexible and scalable IT infrastructures that allow them to respond quickly to changing requirements. Managers can use cloud technologies to reduce operating costs, increase flexibility and ensure business continuity. In uncertain times, cloud solutions can help organizations work remotely, facilitate access to critical data and applications, and improve collaboration within distributed teams.
  • Automation: Automating business processes allows companies to automate repetitive tasks and increase efficiency. Executives can use automation technologies such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and workflow automation to reduce manual or paper-based workflows, minimize errors, and free up resources. In uncertain times, automated processes can help managers focus on more strategic tasks, adapt quickly to changing market conditions, and reduce costs.
  • decision-making processes: Utilizing data analytics and business intelligence enables executives to make informed decisions and identify opportunities. Executives can use data-driven decision-making processes to gain insights into customer behavior, market trends, or operational performance. In uncertain times, data analytics can help executives respond quickly to changing market conditions, identify new business opportunities, and minimize risks.
  • Opening up new markets and business areas: By using modern technologies, companies can tap into new markets and develop innovative business models. Managers can use digital platforms to interact with customers around the world, open up new sales channels, and offer customized products and services. In uncertain times, these new business opportunities can help diversify revenue streams and spread risk.
  • Optimizing customer interaction: In addition, modern technology enables companies to gain deeper insights into customer behavior and offer personalized interactions. Managers can use data analytics and AI-powered tools to understand customer behavior, provide relevant offers, and strengthen customer loyalty. In uncertain times, when customer needs and preferences can change rapidly, these technologies can help companies improve their responsiveness and remain competitive.
  • Innovation and agility: Innovation and agility are also encouraged by enabling companies to quickly test and implement new ideas through modern technologies. Managers can use agile development methods and prototyping tools to bring new products and services to market quickly and receive feedback from customers. In uncertain times, the ability to react flexibly to changing market conditions and offer innovative solutions is a decisive competitive advantage.


Digital transformation enables companies to improve their agility and adapt to uncertain times. Flexible and scalable technologies enable them to respond quickly to change. Leaders not only have a role to play in the adoption and use of technology, but they should also drive digital transformation by fostering a culture of innovation and ensuring that technology initiatives are aligned with the organization’s strategic goals. By using digital technologies strategically, companies can strengthen their competitiveness and ensure long-term success in uncertain times.

From the management software myPARM CorporateNavigator, which supports managers in defining and pursuing the right corporate strategy, to myPARM BIact, a business intelligence software that enables data-driven decisions, to myPARM ProjectManagement, a project and portfolio management software, Parm AG offers various software solutions that support managers and make their daily work easier. They help them to navigate through uncertain times as well as communicate with employees.

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