On Industrialization: A Technology-Driven Path to the Next Generation Organization
Throughout history, the industrialization of technology has led to new practices and behaviours within organizations. What matters in competition is not so much the change in technology as the behaviours and practices that it enables (e.g. being data driven is more important than owning a data lake). In the recent past, compute has undergone industrialization to cloud, which has over the last decade led to a significant change of practices known as DevOps.
In 2011 we sought to test this hypothesis and find whether the growth of cloud computing had led to two forms of organization, traditional and next generation. Our report (published in January 2012) showed that two different forms of organization did exist at that time and they had very different behaviours. Its aim was to forewarn our clients about behaviours or practices they needed to examine and adopt. As those practices were still emerging, the report was not prescriptive, but more about setting a direction (e.g. to shift away from learning through analysts toward learning through ecosystems.)
Today we are again being impacted by industrialization in many areas and this change is being accelerated by the isolation economy caused by COVID. Hence, we repeated the study to see if we could find what behaviours would matter.
The table summarizes the changes of behaviour that we found in the 2021 population study and our recommended four-step approach to implementing them. The technological causes of these changes are social media, collaboration tools and visualization of/access to data. It is not an exhaustive list but it does comprise a minimum of next generation behaviours that modern firms should be either exhibiting or striving for.