Breaking-down Silos with Digital Transformation:

“Silo builds the wall in people’s minds and creates the barrier in organisations’ hearts.” 

― Pearl Zhu author of Digitizing Boardroom: The Multifaceted Aspects of Digital Ready Boar 

Today more than ever there is a great risk to create many invisible silos in large organisations. This is because:


  • Enterprises require ultra-fast time to market and new innovative ways of interacting with their customers and operating their business to cope with the fast-changing socio-techno-economic situation.
  • When the IT department is involved, there is often a slow and lengthy process to try and deliver change, this anchors down business teams forcing them to operate using the existing tools or operating on tactical solutions that seldomly see a strategic realisation.
  • Furthermore, there is a huge and ever-growing set of cloud-based applications and tools now available to tech-savvy business stakeholders that can now create and manage in complete isolation.

Enablement Feedback Loop

It is the role of the Enterprise Architecture team to govern change and enable organisations providing the tools they need to operate at their best.

So, how can an organisation break silos between their business units? How can the Innovation of a Business Unit support other Business Units’ activities instead of creating further distance and isolation?

Digital transformation is reimagining how people, data, and processes can create value for your customers and make you gain a competitive advantage in a digital-first world. It allows us to fully connect your business to achieve a common view of Customers, Products, and People across all businesses and linked through a Common Data Model. Introducing this Enablement Feedback Loop you can migrate from a Siloed-view to a Connected-view and achieve the benefit of a fully-connected, digital-first organisation.

There are 2 fundamental dimensions to consider when trying to break-down silos: People and Technology


Teams might have been operating in a Silo for quite some time and to reduce resistance we should consider the following approaches:

  • Exposure and Experimentation: offer them the ability to try new solutions instead of offering a roadmap. Involve key business stakeholders in strategy and planning meetings so they can feel empowered.
  • Manage Risks: identify business risks and make business stakeholders accountable. This way, a mitigation based on alignment to the IT strategy can be agreed.
  • Establish an IT strategy team: if a specific domain is not under IT governance, establishing a domain strategy team (e.g. for Cloud Adoption) increases the visibility of Silos and encourages IT leaders to take action.
  • Educate: be an ambassador of the IT strategy and the Technologies that will be introduced. Resistance can come from ignorance and being used in the usual way. 


IT Silos are fully isolated IT solutions that some parts of the business rely on to operate. To break down IT Silos we should consider the following approaches:

  • Identify Capability Gaps: there might be some specialised capabilities that the IT silo offers that the governed solution is not supporting and that implements several anti-patterns. In this case, try and gain the perspective of the Silo team and understand why the Silo was created in the first place.
  • Consider hybrid solutions: that might provide an opportunity to extend the existing investments of the IT silo into the future.
  • Plan for a digital-first organisation: cloud-native, fully integrated solutions offer the ability to implement the Enablement Feedback Loop as they offer a common set of tools and applications to consistently introduce innovation and drive value in the organisation. An example of this is the Microsoft Dynamics 365 offering, that organically integrates all applications an organisation needs with the support of an underlying AI-powered Common Data Model. 

Is your organisation Fully-Connected ? 

If you would like to discuss further then contact our partner Bruhati as they can help drive business value for your organisation by helping to break-down silos for your digital transformation with intuitive Cloud based solutions.

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Manuel Di Toma

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