Business reorganizations don’t always work. According to The Globe and Mail, five out of six reorganizations fail to deliver the value expected at the outset of the effort. The reasons for this fact vary from organization to organization, but regardless, IT can play a critical role in making a business reorganization successful.
To fully understand the role IT can play, let’s explore the reasoning behind undergoing a restructure in the first place, what often goes wrong, and how IT management can keep the whole process on track.
Why do reorganizations happen?
Reorganizations often happen when companies face financial challenges brought about by a number of bottlenecks slowing down the workforce. From a financial perspective, a business might need to make deals for debt relief or divestiture of business segments. This commonly leads to private equity holders—often hedge funds—taking over a larger percentage of the company in exchange for some amount of debt forgiveness. When this occurs, the private equity holders usually begin to play a more active role in board-level management decisions.
On the other side of the coin, management is in charge of identifying where bottlenecks are forming and resolving them through process and workflow changes. These adjustments can cause waves of disruption in every department and across the entire business as a whole, and if that disruption gets out of hand, you can end up almost worse off than before and experience a major loss in productivity and ROI.
What causes a restructure to fail?
According to The Globe and Mail, “Too often, reorganizations start without any rigorous thought about what the actual financial effects will be: The benefits are ill-defined, there is no consideration of the financial and human resources required, and [there is] no agreed timeline. In effect, [there’s] no proper planning for what’s ahead.” In other words, a lack of vision and planning can be the downfall of a reorganization. With a clear plan and a strict timeline, the entire business can execute faster and more effectively—avoiding a long, drawn-out restructuring process.
Another aspect that can throw your business for a loop during a reorg is not identifying what strengths you want to preserve and what weaknesses you want to eliminate. This directly ties to identifying bottlenecks at the outset—where are your workers getting slowed down and how can you improve their workflows? What processes have proved successful and should remain as they are? This can mean taking a look at what technology is helping—or hurting—your team, and using this chance to consolidate your IT environment.
How can IT keep a business reorganization on track?
From a technology perspective, a restructure represents the perfect opportunity for IT management to consolidate. For instance, maybe your office is heavily reliant on paper-based processes, and the legacy printers you haven’t updated in ages are slowing everyone down—including your IT team, who gets a dozen tickets a day for repairs and maintenance.
This is the perfect example of a bottleneck that can be easily solved by teaming up with a managed print services (MPS) vendor. Take HP’s MPS offering, for example. During a reorganization, your company can team up with HP and implement a management of change (MoC) process—this is a structured approach to facilitating planned change within your organization, helping you shift from your current state to a future, desired state. An MoC allows you to align expectations, integrate stakeholder teams, set performance metrics, and more—all of which are critically important during a reorganization.
In addition, you can undergo a free secure print analysis. When combined with HP’s managed print services, you can holistically view your entire print environment from a security perspective and identify where you can consolidate from a productivity standpoint, optimizing both your paper and digital workflows across the organization. This allows you to successfully—and accurately—analyze the strengths and weaknesses in your print environment and course-correct accordingly.
On a broader level, IT should also look across their portfolio of technology solutions and conduct a similar analysis to identify where they can safely consolidate and get everyone on the same page during the restructure. The easier and quicker IT can help all employees adjust to their new environment and get the business up and running again, the better. And it’s important for IT decision-makers to push to join those board meetings. Having a technology expert in the room can help set more realistic timelines for any technology integration that may need to happen during the restructure.
All in all, IT involvement in a reorganization can minimize downtime and disruption by clearing out the bottlenecks slowing employees down and simplifying processes from top to bottom. In the end, your business will be working leaner and better than ever—and you’ll be the one of six businesses that succeeds in restructuring.