What is Business Agility and why is it important for business leaders?

Embracing change

In this blog 

  • What is business agility? 
  • Why is business agility important for business leaders today?
  • What are the challenges business leaders face implementing agile business practices?
  • What organisations are good at implementing business agility?
  • Practical ways you can implement agile business practices 

What is business agility?

In simple terms, business agility can be seen as the way in which an organisation innovatively and quickly adapts to constantly evolving industry changes. This blog discusses the benefits of implementing agile business practices and how you, as a business leader, can integrate them into your daily operations. 

Business agility is a term that we are hearing more and more frequently. Post-pandemic, it is particularly important for business leaders to look at how their organisations can undergo agile transformation or business agility training. The past 2-3 years have been times of immense change and acceleration, with many organisations having seen unprecedented pandemic related growth. However, with that surge in growth comes a stream of various changes that organisations need to adapt to. 

‘The speed with which the world is moving now and the way that business moves now means that you can be left behind very quickly’ 

Ronan Copeland

Group Vice President & General Manager EMEA



Why is business agility important for business leaders today?

Through conducting a business agility assessment and implementing agile ways of working into your organisation you are helping to future proof your employees, customers and partners to react to challenges. No matter how hard we try, we can’t prepare proactively for every single eventuality and in some cases, as we have all seen, being reactive is our only option. Implementing streamlined and efficient digital systems that can simplify your organisation's daily operations is one of the most effective ways to ensure business agility principles are pillars in your organisation, and hence to be prepared to react effectively when needed. Digital transformation is key to business agility.

In a survey conducted by the Harvard Business Review, it was found that companies that embrace an agile culture experience a 60% growth in revenue and profits. However, with all that in mind this agility and openness to change does not and cannot happen overnight. As a business leader, you can empower your employees, customers and partners to get on board and to embrace this new way of doing business. One of the most important things to remember is that this isn’t just a top-down message, implementing agile practices needs to be something that every individual in the organisation commits to. 

‘Everybody talks about change. Everybody knows they need to change but when it comes down to you, the individual, or me, the individual needing to change, that’s when the cultural stuff really happens and the resistance comes to the fore’ 

Ronan Copeland

Group Vice President & General Manager EMEA



What are the challenges business leaders face implementing agile business practices? 

One of the biggest challenges that business leaders face when implementing something new, or proposing a change is resistance and hesitancy from employees, customers and partners. As a business leader, actually communicating this need for change and agility can often be the most challenging aspect. Articulating the connection between why your organisation needs to change and the purpose of this change to your team members isn’t easy and will most likely involve lots of one-to-one conversations with people. Particularly those who are very comfortable with the way they have worked for many years and are reluctant to adopt more agile methods.  

Falling victim to systematic inertia is one of the biggest mistakes your organisation could make in the current climate. Of course, implementing technology into your project management resources like Docusign eSignature or Docusign CLM is a process that will take up some time and resources initially, but as a business leader it is vital that you see the why behind this digital transformation and understand that there is a ROI in the long term. The short term pain of making a big change is most certainly worth the long term pleasure of less friction and fewer manual processes that will help you and your organisation meet your goals.

“I, as a business leader, have found more and more often  that I need to spend more time communicating well with either customers or indeed employees around why we need to change. What’s the importance of changing and what are we going to get out of this change?’

Ronan Copeland

Group Vice President & General Manager EMEA


What organisations are good at implementing business agility? 

Docusign has a large customer base which spans from the smallest of businesses to the largest enterprises. Interestingly, some of the fastest moving innovation actually comes from our SMB customers. These organisations are smaller, they can make decisions faster and they are more willing to trial new tools and techniques and test new methodologies. Smaller, agile teams seem to embrace technology more frequently and view it as an edge on industry competitors. 

Business agility example

The Modern Milkman, a plastic free grocery delivery service, is an example of a small business that has implemented digital technologies and embraced agile to streamline their systems. In this user story, Docusign eSignature has brought order to the chaos brought by ‘wet’ signatures of their fast growing small business. 

‘Even in a pre-pandemic world, collecting these signatures and then having to store them manually was a nightmare. During a pandemic, Docusign eSignature and eWitness is a complete necessity. Without it, how would we collect signatures with a witness?”

Lambro Anastasiou

Chief Financial Officer

The Modern Milkman

Practical ways you can implement agile business practices 

Maybe you’ve decided that it’s time your organisation makes this change and sets out on taking an agile approach. The Docusign Agreement Cloud can help your organisation reach that next level and give you a competitive advantage. Here are three that we recommend you start with. 

  1. Docusign CLM (Contract Lifecycle Management)

What it does: Automate the contract lifecycle 

Why you need it: Average contract turnaround time is reduced from 24 to 4 working hours with Docusign CLM, which equates to an 83% reduction in contract processing time.

  1. Docusign eSignature

What it does: Send, track and sign agreements with the world’s #1 electronic signature solution

Why you need it: 79% of all successful eSignature transactions on our platform were completed in less than 24 hours and 44% within 15 minutes

  1. Docusign Identity ID Verification 

What it does: Integrate signing and enhanced identification methods into one connected Docusign eSignature experience.

Why you need it: Jumio Global Consumer Research found that 80% of consumers prefer digital ID Verification measures when choosing online brands


As business leaders we also need to ensure that we don’t fall into complacency and say that we’re alright the way we are, we’ve done it this way for years, why do we need to change?
Ronan Copeland
Group Vice President & General Manager EMEA


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Chloe Griffin
Content Marketing Intern