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Deloitte: Humanising the Cloud

Technology and culture, together, unlock value in modern organisations

Operating in a rapidly changing and complex world with many variables that impact performance, organisations are looking for ways to navigate this complexity to drive sustained performance.  Coupled with the proliferation of digital technology, especially increasing cloud adoption, organisations that do not change the way they organise, operate and behave are in danger of missing out on a key source of competitive advantage. At its core this is about how organisations make decisions from the front-line supervisor to the C-suite.  The main blocker to speed of digital technology adoption and operational productivity for the first time in human history has shifted from limitations in the technology itself to organisational design and culture.

Adaptable organisations are best placed to cultivate the right culture

Digital technology itself is not the silver bullet. It is analogous to a F1 race, the car alone will not win you the race. You must have the right driver, pit crew, engineers and leaders. You also need to be capturing data, getting it to the right people and systems so that you can make quick and high stakes decisions several times a lap. It is the same with organisations, they must have optimal digital technology but also the right processes, capable workforce and organisational construct to create, maintain and grow their competitive advantage.

To create a truly adaptable organisation that utilises cloud and digital technology in everything it does organisations must focus on the following:

  • Put data at the core – Data is fundamentally the life force of an organisation and flows multi-directionally through every person, product and process across the end-to-end value chain. Organisations need to organise themselves to allow a network of data ‘arteries’ and ‘capillaries’ to enable it to function optimally. Data needs to be placed in the hands of those who need to use it to make the decisions at the right time, at all levels of the organisation.
  • Create deep end-to-end business intelligence by viewing the value chain as a single thread – A truly connected organisation is required to get the benefits of this data democratisation, if data is flowing then communication must flow in equal supply. The reduction of handoffs and business, user experience and technology integration incorporates the customer into how services, products and solutions are created and maintained.
  • Utilise the scale and speed of cloud – Just like a box of Lego, utilising cloud services gives an organisation access to all the constituent parts and blocks to build solutions for customers at a speed that has until now been a dream. However, companies need to ensure that their workforce understand what ‘blocks’ they have to build with and the overarching strategy of what needs to be created to provide a great customer experience.

The road to adaptability is only constrained by the organisational itself

Whilst the journey to creating an adaptable, cloud-enabled organisation is challenging, all the critical components exist today to create the necessary cultural shift necessary for tomorrow. The successful implementation of new ways of working, team structures and associated capabilities are underpinned by a shift in the culture that enables transparency, autonomy and customer centricity.

The critical components that need to be unlocked are:

  • Organisation Design - Organisations need to break down the silos between technology, operations, and functional teams to allow for the vertical integration of their teams to support the organisation on their end-to-end journey. This could mean a radical shift in the way work is delivered and teams are structured. 
  • Organisation Capability - Team members and leaders will require various levels of cloud literacy to enable the best usage of the platforms and the possibilities they create. This is the foundation of product innovation and benefits realisation. 
  • Organisational Mindset - The way team members interact with each other and other teams will need to change to allow for better collaboration and information flow. Leadership needs to foster an inclusive and customer centric mindset into their teams to use the new digital environment to generate innovative solutions to their business problems. 

The advent of mass digital technology increasing potential disruption from external and internal factors, are forcing organisations to move towards a more adaptable way of working and an organisational construct that is fundamentally enabled by cloud technology.

The bottom-line is that organisations cannot, and will not, fully unlock and leverage the power and value of digital technology transformation without also reimagining and transforming their organisation. These two are not mutually exclusive, both must be present.

To read more about unlocking business value from your organisation’s transition to Cloud, read the Deloitte report.

To discuss this topic in more detail, please contact:

Tom Alstein
Partner, Deloitte Australia

Joe Zappia
Energy and Mining BDM
Amazon Web Services (AWS)