I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about the need for organisations to change their structure as online permeates their business practices.
It is perhaps suprising that even organisations that do most of their business through online channels remain attached to a 19th century-style organisational structure. The surprise is double – the fact that these organisations have managed to avoid changing their structure, and the fact that they are able to successfully operate online despite their antiquated structure.
However, once one digs a little deeper, the challenges become clear: inefficiency, cost and the dedication of employees make do for the obvious faults in the organisational structure. What appears fine and dandy from the outside is revealed to be a patchwork or manual procedures, exceptional arrangements and unnecessary long hours barely holding together an operating model unfit for today’s eBusiness.
How long corporations will be able to operate substandard structures depends on a number of factors – competition being the paramount influence, consumer expectations being also very high. As the Web makes business more transparent and as customers learn about the implications that an inefficient structure has in the price they pay, and the quality of service they receive, a militant consumer revolt is a very clear danger for organisations that remain structured for another time. And of course it only takes one eBusiness-centric newcomer to break the market and create serious trouble for the establishment.
eBusiness is the lifeline of many an organization today. They igonore the implications for structure and operating model at their peril. With plenty of shining examples for the likes og Google, Amazon, Dell and long list of others, there is no excuse not to bite the bullet and suffer a bit of long term pain in exchange for a corporate future. As ever, the fittest will be the ones with a chance to survive.
What organisations do you think are well structure for eBusiness? Who are the worse offenders? Please let me know in the comments!