Maximizing Customer Centricity: Designing and Structuring IT Organizations for Product-Aligned Delivery

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Technology organizations are making the move to small, empowered, product-oriented teams. These teams have fewer members who each bring broader capabilities across the full technology stack. The shift to product-aligned delivery has significant implications for IT organizational design, job family architecture and the culture of the workforce.

Product-aligned delivery can mean many things, but, at its most basic, this delivery model places the focus of the business – and the go-to-market products of the business – on the customer experience. Whether their products are physical, logical or digital, companies are paying more attention to how those products are consumed by customers in the marketplace than on how the company carries out its business. A shift to a vertical, product-aligned approach also can impact the enterprise’s organizational design and culture. The shift for a company’s workers from a functional- or skill-based organization to a product-based organization typically requires a massive culture change.

Developing and maintaining digitally enabled products often requires additional adjustments to an IT organization, including the flexibility to embrace a proliferation of new technologies and constantly changing technology skills. An IT organization moving away from a well-established hierarchical structure and job family architecture and toward these norms will likely undergo dramatic change.

The ISG white paper Maximizing Customer Centricity: Designing and Structuring IT Organizations for Product-Aligned Delivery explores how companies can encourage their technology workers to adopt a product-oriented mindset and embrace the cultural changes it requires.

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About the author

Ola Chowning

Ola Chowning

What she does at ISG

Ola Chowning is thrilled to solve her clients’ complex business problems with technology—truly. Whether it’s time to dramatically change your entire business model or respond to rising competitive pressures, she takes what could be a daunting process and molds it into an exciting journey, ultimately helping you transform your business and better connect you with your customers.

Past achievements for clients

In her positions as digital lead for North Europe as well as a firm partner, Ola expands the reach of ISG’s enterprise and digital solutions. But these roles also allow her to impart to her clients tried-and-true advice based on years of experience as both a technologist and service provider. At times, Ola may point you in a faster, more rigorous direction than you were anticipating—simply one of the many ways she relentlessly champions her clients’ technological evolutions across every industry.

Having never told a client to deploy something she wouldn’t do (or hasn’t already done) herself, Ola’s goal-oriented gusto has resulted in many successes for her clients:

  • She advised a partially transformed logistics company (that had a pervasive, costly architectural sprawl issue) to create standards, guardrails and integrated roadmaps to promote efficiency and velocity using what was currently working well. Ola helped spark synergies among the teams impacted, and in only eight weeks, teams saw as much as a 200% increase in their throughput.

  • On a tight deadline and limited budget, she applied Agile and modern delivery model principles to convert a brick-and-mortar's business model (with legacy systems and cumbersome practices that were seemingly incompatible with a more collaborative way of working) into a modern digital setting.