82% of CEOs say they have a digital transformation strategy in place and are adopting an organisation. More than ever, companies are looking to digitalise to improve the customer experience, enhance knowledge, gain in collaborative practices... But the challenge is to know how to make the shift to digital.
Many theories point to unclear objectives, a lack of employee involvement, poorly defined strategic alignment or too much organisational rigidity as factors of failure. One of the main challenges is to define and implement an organisation capable of supporting the digitalisation process through a clear definition of roles, flexibility and agility.
Among the existing models, Capgemini offers an interesting tool for thinking about how to integrate a digital strategy into one’s organisation. Of course, there is no “miracle” solution to be copied, but rather the main trends of what is being done today. Each model offers advantages and disadvantages, and companies must above all deal with their own strategic vision and structural constraints.
The centralised or central coordination model
A team is mandated at corporate level to define, execute and disseminate the strategy throughout the company. Only the operational management of the transformation is entrusted to the different entities. This centralisation makes it possible to instil a real digital surge within the organisation, in particular thanks to the dissemination of strong and homogeneous communication messages, making it possible to effectively spread the same digital vision and culture to all employees.
However, the multiplication of hierarchical levels between the business teams and top management as seen in this model slows down the feedback of information (dysfunctions observed, particular needs, employee reactions, etc.) and annihilates the spirit of initiative.
The decentralised or silo model
In this case, the different entities of the company are themselves responsible for defining the strategy and allocating human, financial and technological resources. Its main advantage lies in its proximity to the field and to the teams, which favours greater employee involvement through the implementation of more appropriate change management. Similarly, by capitalising on increased knowledge of the needs and challenges in the field, the decision-making process is accelerated and leads to efficiency gains.
However, this silo approach does not lead to a real digital transformation of the company as a whole but rather to the development of isolated digital initiatives. Boundaries hinder collaboration and slow down the spread of new uses within other entities. They prevent economies of scale and create performance gaps between the different business lines.
The hybrid or global model
The alternative to these models is the hybrid organisation, which combines centralisation and decentralisation. The different business lines conduct operations in the field in accordance with the strategy and budget defined by a digital centre of excellence (or digital business unit), which coordinates everything at global level. We thus find the advantages of the two models mentioned above in order to build a digital transformation in accordance with the needs observed in the field while respecting the main direction sought by management.
To wrap up
The implementation of a new organisation, whatever it may be, is only the second step in a digital transformation process, the first phase being the definition of a clear and precise strategy based on the goals that the company wishes to achieve.
Although this organisation is one of the main catalysts for successful digitalisation, it cannot replace the implementation of rigorous change management, providing employees with all the groundwork they may need to undertake this transformation.