Very aptly named, a silo mentality creates a barrier between divisions of the company, destroying trust, cutting off communications, and building frustration. In a digital age, these barriers can be the anchor that sinks your company, especially now that companies are more dependent on technology than ever before.
1. Tech silos hold your company back
There are many types of silos, but one thing they share is that they impede divisions in your company from forming a unified team.
Unclear Communication: it’s easy for departments to fall into the habit of only communicating with those directly around them or those who are at the same level in the organisation. Removing this barrier can improve resource utilisation, employee sentiment, gain crucial feedback, and speed up business collaboration
Duplicate Work: silos cause overlapping functions, which result in increased costs, repeated efforts, and inconsistent decisions.
Restricted Knowledge Retention: one of a company’s most significant assets is an employee’s knowledge. When all departments share their individual information, they create the engine that drives an organisation. Silos hold back this knowledge and result in a limited understanding of organisational expertise or talent.
Team Efficiency: silos form a barrier between departments. Instead, a company should aim to maximise resources through high-impact collaboration, resulting in sky-rocketing productivity.
Broken Productivity: episodic work results in poor time management. In an age where innovation fuels a company’s future, a more balanced view of time management is essential.
Breaking down the silo mentality should not only be a priority for your company at any stage but particularly during today’s business climate when the repercussions of a global pandemic have forced countless organisations to rely heavily on technology and to turn to a virtual workspace.
This is where tech silos can become your biggest enemy.
2. A non-digital company will not survive
Going digital may appear as a costly commitment. Still, it’s those that adopt and adapt to a changing climate who survive the longest. A lack of tech familiarity is no excuse when it comes to choosing between upgrading your current process and knowledge base and going out of business.
Loss of Relevance: in a sea of tough digital connoisseurs, forfeiting a digital presence will be the vessel that sinks. Newsjacking the media is an uber-successful trend that keeps the digital opportunist afloat, and it helps companies compete with the pace of modern marketers.
Competitive Disadvantage: to stay agile is to keep up with digital capabilities.Think of the Blockbuster vs Netflix case. When Blockbuster CEO John Antioco was asked to pay $50million for Netflix, Antioco thought the company’s digital direction would be too niche and declined the offer. The result? It cost Antioco his empire.
No Key Analytics: or better put, no ability to collect them.Now more than ever, it is easier to gather information from your audience. Nevertheless, companies need to work harder than they had to 30 years ago to understand their consumers and promote brand loyalty. They require the insight of consumer data to avoid detrimental strategic errors.
No Learning Advantage: having a learning advantage by testing the digital waters can catapult you ahead of your competitors. Technology can play a vital role in obtaining better insights and updating products and policies.
For example, the Brooklyn Museum in New York used iBeacon to find out what artwork each visitor preferred (the museum would track how long a visitor dwelled on a particular object and send the visitor more information on it.)
3. A digitally friendly company is the way forward
Innovators make the top tier of a digitally friendly company. Their ability to experiment and stay unafraid of failure is what distinguishes them from non-digital companies. But innovators are not the only ones who make up a company.
A flexible mentality can get you far, especially when you come to terms with the fact that your digital strategy is never set in stone. Staying agile and adapting your structure towards innovation (as opposed to the other way around) can expand your potential.
Being digitally friendly also means coming together to solve a specific problem, turning first to a digital solution. For example, moving services online to reduce costs, increase efficiency and better serve customers.
Being digitally friendly doesn’t stop there, but it does boil down to adaptability and redefining approaches, particularly when it comes to problem-solving.
4. Technology trends are here to stay
Removing tech silos and adopting a digitally friendly approach has never been more critical for companies that want to get through what is quickly becoming “the next normal”. Covid-19 has accelerated technology trends and redefined our digital age.
E-Commerce: online shopping has jumped from a luxury to a necessity and is here to stay. Supported by a robust logistics system, it benefitted from the need for contactless delivery and an introduction to new protocols to safeguard the sanitary condition of delivered goods.
Remote work: one of the most challenging times for many businesses was the conversion from a physical to a digital office. It forced the breakdown of technology silos by requiring digital communication between all departments.
Virtual events & conferences:B2B conferences and networking events are an important element to building relationships and gaining new business. Taking advantage of the digital landscape and the blank canvas available to build communities globally is important to stay relevant in any industry.
Being digitally ready means having the necessary infrastructure to thrive in a digitised world. When departments self-impose technological barriers, an approach to technology governance is vastly reduced. Breaking down these barriers by eliminating technology silos, particularly during a global pandemic, is essential in keeping a business afloat.
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