Organising for a new era – the digital dilemma
In this perspective, we will address six organisational approaches and their embedded challenges. We will discuss the pros and cons of each approach, and from there, we introduce pains and pitfalls. We stress that the number of potential organisational approaches are as many as there are companies, and hence we do not strive to encapsulate the entire scope of possible organisation charts, but we try to provide guidance on how to avoid (and anticipate) potential “organisational pitfalls” and thereby increase the likelihood of digital success.
Three initial questions are essential to any discussion on change in organisational design:
- Is it necessary to change high-touch processes to digital low-touch processes?
- Is it necessary to supplement parts of the current business model with digital improvements?
- Is it necessary to substitute the existing business model with a fully digital model?
Once you have answered, you are left with the governing dilemma: How do you structure your organisation to best leverage an increased digital focus? We introduce the Digital Business Development (DBD) unit – a unit with a dedicated focus on at least one of four digital transformation measures:
- Optimize operations
- Engage customers & empower employees
- Transform products
- Define new business model
In this perspective, we discuss six different approaches to integrate the DBD into your organisation structure. We analyse each approach in the light of our dilemma, and we reflect on the characteristics in terms of digital matureness (and the digital requirements which follow).