You’re a fast-growing company. What’s your tech stack? Across your worldwide organization, you have all kinds of ambitious plans. So creating a technical framework to support them is no small feat. All these different divisions operate independently, so you need technology that will fit the needs of each one while allowing them to cooperate as well.
A top-down, monolithic approach to technology might work great for a giant, distributed organization. But it can be extremely inefficient for small businesses that want to compete and function like individual businesses. Therefore, the best technology model isn’t determined by the most scalable or cost-effective solutions; rather, it is determined by what will allow each segment of a company to succeed.
Many companies have centralized IT teams to oversee all the company’s technology. Any changes are implemented in one go for everyone. As big companies become bigger, they typically shift from centralized to decentralized IT management. This increase in complexity can bring about a variety of problems and even weaken an organization. Large enterprises often confuse their company priorities or business functions with their technology. They think the key to success is using multiple tools rather than choosing one trusted tool that helps do everything easily. This can help an enterprise grow, innovate, and improve its customer experience often at little cost.
The internet has been instrumental for organizations of any size. Businesses looking to work in the cloud need high-speed access, intricate network security, and seamless collaboration tools built into their IT architecture. These are just a few of the many reasons decentralized infrastructure makes sense and why it’s worth considering as a viable option.
Six Guidelines For Decentralization
If your company is uncomfortable with the disadvantages of a centralized IT infrastructure or you’re a growing business that’s thinking about the way to approach your technology stack or you want to accomplish a decentralized infrastructure, we urge you to keep these factors in mind:
- Don’t mandate the usage of a particular solution: Technology shouldn’t be forced onto a business in which it doesn’t belong. Each area of a company is different, with certain technologies better suited for different departments than others. There might be some digital technologies that are not a great fit. It might take time for a department to find the right tech, so let them figure out what works best for them. For example, the purchasing team might use cloud computing, but the shipping and sales teams must stick to desktops for optimal performance. Over time, departments can then build out the configurations that suit them and optimize them for themselves as they discover the value.
- Create common capabilities after consultation with constituent businesses: It is easy to dive in and add a common capability over time. To truly add value to an organization, it must first get input from the businesses using the capabilities. Build a common infrastructure with input from everyone who is impacted. It is important that you fully understand the needs of your constituents because it leads to an essential set of capabilities that can be built on later. You might even require some consulting, though.
- Provide businesses with a starter set of building blocks: These days, business owners need thousands of building blocks to use at their disposal. Providing them with a starter set of materials and tools helps make things easier in the long run. It will help them lay a solid foundation for future growth.
- Support innovation: Innovation is the key to solving challenges and satisfying customer needs. How can you encourage innovation in your company? Find ways to motivate people from different departments to work together on a single project. Having different groups make use of integrated solutions will also promote agility, making it easy for teams to come together on various projects.
- Provide guards (or protection barriers) like APIs, standards, architecture: This ensures that your business can perform well right away and take advantage of new capabilities today and down the road. Doing this will also help businesses grow stronger and be prepared for new opportunities. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.
- Facilitate sharing: If one division develops a new technology that enables business results, other divisions should determine if it would be beneficial. When one section of the company figures out a technical infrastructure element that’s successful for it, other sections can look into using it as well.
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