Change and Disruption Ahead—Are You Ready?

Change and disruption will continue to accelerate. Is your organization prepared? Leighanne Levensaler shares her thoughts on how businesses can thrive and grow in the face of constant change.

In a few months, I’ll be celebrating six years with Workday. When I stop to think about that, what strikes me most is how much change has occurred in those years—not just at Workday, but to all of us.

Think about how our everyday lives have changed. We carry smartphones loaded with every lifestyle application imaginable. We have the option to work from anywhere, because our work is in the cloud. We order our entertainment on demand and manage our travel entirely online. More and more of us drive hybrid vehicles. Payphones, paper maps, and video stores are practically ancient history.

All of these changes have occurred because of smart, creative people and businesses that disrupted classic business models and charged full-steam ahead into high growth mode.

Workday is among these disruptors, starting from scratch in 2005 with a new vision as to how applications should be designed, deployed, and experienced. We challenged the legacy model and grew rapidly, just like many of our customers.

“In Workday, we feel we found a software platform capable of growing with us, and an innovative partner that thinks like we do.”—Noel Watson, VP and Controller, TripAdvisor

Yet we also know that plenty of disruption lies ahead. The rapid pace of innovation is not going to slow down. Change will continue to impact industries, product lifecycles, and competitive landscapes.

As consumers, these changes will deliver to us even more satisfying and convenient experiences. Yet as team members of the organizations we work for, we must be prepared and empowered so that we aren’t deer in the headlights of disruption and change.

How do we do that? By focusing on our own opportunities. In the past 10 years, Workday has been selected by 925+ global customers who share our view that success happens when you set your sights on the future, not the past. We know we must spend less time on reporting and analyzing historical numbers, and more time on planning and preparing our organizations for growth.

“Workday has impacted the way our business operates … it now contributes to our strategy going forward as it relates to growth, expansion, and new opportunities for our clients and our employees.”—David Rae, CEO, Allied Global

I think about how our customers have disrupted classic business models: they didn’t bolt on their new ideas to existing ones; they rethought entire models and took radically different approaches to better serve customers in their respective industries.

Workday is the same way. We took a radically different approach to building our products than other enterprise software vendors. We rethought the entire experience—from our adaptive technology foundation, to how applications are delivered, to how customers can configure and reconfigure them, to how we enhance, support, and update them. Perhaps most importantly, unlike legacy software systems that were designed only for finding efficiencies, we built Workday to focus on opportunities for growth.

We made it possible for customers to have financials and HR in one system, so they can empower people with insights into what’s happening within their organizations at any time. They can literally see change as it occurs. They can move faster to discover new markets, identify new talent, and make decisions based on current data.

“Workday not only gives us the confidence to scale, but will support accelerated growth. We no longer have to worry whether our finance and HR systems can support us.”—Kevin Cheetham, CFO, CustomInk

Simply put, they can grow.

“In the next three years, we need to hire over 3,000 leaders to support our growth and to open new properties. The visibility that Workday gives us into our leadership is going to enable us to execute … and meet this significant demand for talent.”—Michelle DiTondo, SVP HR, MGM Resorts International

Throughout this blog post I’ve shared several quotes from our customers about what they’ve discovered with Workday. In each one, you’ll notice this: they are preparing for growth. They don’t fear change. They have embraced disruption as the new normal, and they’re ready for anything.

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