Five ways to break down the silos that stall digital transformation

Written by Onisim Gabrian

One of most common obstacles to digital transformation is siloed working. In this digital market access update, Onisim Gabrian recommends five ways to overcome this challenge to achieving an effective digital culture.

There are many reasons why a digital culture should matter to an organization.

A digital culture enables the meeting of minds and disciplines. For example, at PRMA Consulting, our strong collaboration helps our IT team to gain greater business knowledge, and our consultancy experts to discover more about digital development.

The net effect is an exploitation of technology that improves client and business outcomes and creates business efficiencies.

How organizational silos present challenges for digital transformation

Some of the most common barriers to digital transformation across industries are created by silos within the organization.1

A typical organizational structure has separate departments focused on individual goals and unique ways of working. This division of capability and knowledge into silos can block digital transformation and slow adoption of new technologies.

Breaking down these silos will allow digital intelligence, skill, and vision to flow throughout the organization.

Five ways to break down organizational silos and accelerate digital transformation

1. Consider organizational redesign

Consider the appropriate organizational design and the structures needed to improve visibility and collaboration between colleagues.

2. Develop consistent company-wide processes

Create company-wide consistency, methodology, and processes, so you know where you are at any point in the digital transformation process.

Implementing this at PRMA Consulting has driven our long-term strategic planning; in fact, the product roadmaps for our digital applications now extend to 5 years.

3. Maintain regular communication using a shared language

To encourage greater cohesion and innovation, take every opportunity to talk with colleagues about the benefits of digital transformation.

We created our own “Digital Culture Series” of virtual training sessions at PRMA Consulting. These sessions strengthened our digital skillset across the company, and provided the business with a common language and the latest thinking.

4. Invite ideas and engagement

To supplement our virtual training, we use our company incentive scheme to encourage and reward innovative ideas that deliver client value.

The PRMA Access Accelerator® digital application was born out of this initiative and is now helping leading pharmaceutical companies to inform product development from early portfolio investment to late-stage market access.

5. Recruit and retain expert talent

Another game changer is bringing dedicated expertise into your organization.

Developing and improving digital applications demands specific skillsets and dedicated roles, so at PRMA Consulting we have employed full-time architects, infrastructure engineers, and product owners to ensure our clients’ needs are identified and met.

Digital transformation takes time and can be tough, but stick with it

A final thought: do not be afraid to stop, review, and change direction if necessary.

It is a brave team that can pause development to allow space for collaborative thinking.

At PRMA Consulting, we call this a Reset, and it allows us to take a holistic view of how we deliver our robust, repeatable, and complete functional solutions.

Pausing has proved to be transformative for us, from the product strategy artefacts through to our testing processes, onboarding, and dedicated support for our clients.

You can hear more about this now in our on-demand webinar, Recommendations for driving your journey to digital excellence.

Further reading

  1. GlobalData. (2020). Digital Transformation and Emerging Technology in the Healthcare Industry – 2020 Edition. [Online] Available at:–digital-transformation-and-emerging-technology-in-the-healthcare-industry-2020-edition/ [Accessed November 2020]

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