The way information systems contribute to the company’s goals is related to the way organisations are working. One of the concluding questions from ‘Quality Assurance approaches when using low-code platforms’ was “When applying a Resource Based View (RBV), could resource orchestration Taher (2012) support quality assurance in LCMDD projects?”. Taher (2012) argues that information systems resources only cannot contribute to sustainable competitive advantage. What is the impact of implementing low/no-code platforms on the way organisations work and vice versa?
One of the issues encountered in the ‘orchestration’ process is ‘Silo busting’. Silos are units (departments) based on the organization’s structure with focus on their own goals and achievements, with little customer focus. The reason that companies are still working in those silos is because they “are inherent to the human condition” (Gillian, 2015). In the interview with Gillian Tett she talks about her book ‘The Silo Effect: The Peril of Expertise and the Promise of Breaking Down Barriers’
With an anthropological lens, she examines how different cultures are classifying and what the impact is on the organisation’s culture. One should be careful with purely focusing on efficiency within departmental units. Create ‘slack time’ and orchestrate serendipity to support people ‘jumping’ between silos to be creative and innovative (Gillian, 2015). Interesting approach here is the ‘Bloomberg’ approach where capturing data from all the departments and combine them together, results in new findings and improvements possible when departments working together with a customer focused view. Presenting the results to the people in these department with the goal to come up with new ideas and improvements will trigger new behaviour to work cross functional (Gillian, 2015).
Getting away from silos is challenging
Gulati (2007) recognizes that getting away from silos is challenging and presents four activities (coordination, cooperation, capability development and connection) to replace silos with customer-focused units. Not surprisingly also Gulati (2007) emphasizes on cultural aspects like incentives, values, power structures and company symbols and most importantly having a clear view on the customer value perception.
Desbarats (2017) presents some cases implementing IoT applications where a silo-busting approach proof beneficial. The combination of mash-up team formation, where the disciplines interact constantly in an ad-hoc, issue driven way that supports taking full benefits from IoT implementation.
Leaders are breaking down boundaries
Based on a large scale survey in 2019 among C-Suite executives of 8,356 companies globally, Accenture defines the ‘Innovation achievement gap’, https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/future-systems/future-ready-enterprise-systems (Burden, 2019). Leaders are realizing the benefits from new technologies where laggards lack a strategic and holistic approach. According to the survey “91% of the leaders are extremely effective at working with cross-department teams that combine IT and business to create customer-centric solutions” (Burden, 2019). Leaders invest in innovation and focus on three characteristics of ‘future systems’; 1. Boundaryless, 2. Adaptable and 3. Radically human, where 75% say systems are breaking down the boundaries (Burden, 2019).
Long term approach on cross functional teams
Summarizing above findings provides supporting approaches to capture the full value of using information systems like low/no-code platforms. A customer centric culture and cross functional teams with people from various departments is crucial to capture added value from information systems. But this way of working is not always supported by the way organisations are structured. Silo-busting is one of the important tasks to realize the full potential value. Silo busting is challenging and takes a long-term approach by creating cross functional customer focused teams, stimulate time for serendipity, grant incentives on cross functional results and implement a big data approach combining data from all the departments.
Burden, A. (2019). Accenture. How to scale innovation and achieve full value with future systems. https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/future-systems/future-ready-enterprise-systems. Accessed 8th of October 2019.
Desbarats, G. (2017). Silo‐Busting to Create Great Experiences for the Internet of Things. Design Management Review, 28(1), 28-36.
Gillian (2015). Interview Gillian Tett at the Milken Institute about her book ‘The Silo Effect’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1bK-LFKCEU. Milken Institute. Accessed 12th of October 2019.
Gulati, R. (2007). Silo Busting. How to Execute on the Promise of Customer Focus. Harvard Business Review, May.
Taher, M (2012). Resource-Based View Theory. In Y.K. Dwivedi et al. (eds.), Information Systems Theory: Explaining and Predicting Our Digital Society, Vol. 1, Integrated Series in Information Systems Vol. 1, pp151-161. Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012.