Brexit is on next week’s agenda – or maybe it is not, or just not entirely, or maybe later? By the time this paper is published, we will know. But just imagine the reaction rate that politics have been demanding of the economy. Welcome to the world of VUCA! But what are the challenges we need to master in a world that is characterized by volatility, uncertainty and complexity? What role is digitization, which is probing into all areas of society, playing in it? Are there any formulas for success, and how can Oracle Applications help the pursuit of success in the VUCA world? The following elaborations will focus on thoughts concerning the agile business and the planning of breathing supply chains.
The world of VUCA
With the breakup of the Soviet Union at the beginning of the 90s, the acronym VUCA first gained importance. Constructed from the terms volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, it described very precisely the multilateral state the world was left in after the end of the Cold War. The fact that VUCA would increasingly enter strategic business management doesn’t come as a surprise – as little as the observation that VUCA nowadays is as present as never before (see [BeL14, MKK16]). In a time where even in Europe, populist groupings are egging on democratically elected governments, and political gamblers are picking trade quarrels, incidentally making nuclear wars imaginable again, there is no doubt that all requirements of a VUCA world are met. And when in addition, globally operating megacorporations are seemingly reaching for world domination, immeasurable amounts of capital build their explosive bubbles in the casino economy, and despots seem to be the only ones left still capable of envisioning the future, VUCA becomes omnipresent.
In the first instance, not only responsible business leaders but also citizens consider the VUCA world a threat – and it should be seen as such, while appropriate safety measures should be taken. However, the fact that the VUCA world provides immense opportunities should not be disregarded: prospering new markets replace shrinking or vanishing ones, create new job vacancies and generate capital flows that can ideally be guided into meaningful future projects.
Recognizing chances, using them in a meaningful way and mastering the risks – those are the challenges for …
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