Landscape assessment and strategy development for technology-enabled internal communication and collaboration

We worked with FTSE 100 technology provider Sage Group as they transitioned from a decentralised, federated global operating model to a more centralised approach. This required fundamental changes to ways of working and communicating, with more joined-up and collaborative behaviours needed to drive innovation and knowledge-sharing, reduce duplication of effort and break down silos.

We were asked to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the current landscape and future opportunities for technology-enabled internal communication and collaboration across the business.

The objectives of the project were to:

  • Gather data and develop recommendations to support an informed, evidence-based decision on future internal communication and collaboration strategies
  • Scope the high level requirements for the next phase of the programme
  • Align and engage key stakeholders with the process and decisions reached

The wider context for the project was a globalisation strategy which required fundamental changes to ways of working and communicating. The project followed an earlier benchmarking exercise to assess the effectiveness and suitability of the current Group-wide collaboration platform.

The project comprised three main components: data gathering; analysis and interpretation; and reporting on findings and recommendations. Data gathering was via consultation with three key stakeholder groups over a three week period using qualitative research techniques:

  • Business leaders: Telephone interviews with 22 senior leaders from across the business
  • Employees: Online consultation with 70+ employees from across the business
  • Technology leaders: Telephone consultation with all 7 members of the global CIO Committee

Data from the three consultation streams were combined into a single framework, then analysed and coded to identify emergent concepts which were structured using categories and sub-categories. This structure was used to ‘play back’ the views and opinions of those consulted in a logical narrative, with extensive use of verbatim quotes to support the interpretation of data.

From the consultation findings we derived the implications – both to the business overall and specifically to company-wide internal communication and collaboration – and developed recommendations for addressing the opportunities and threats identified.

The data gathered via the consultation activities and processed through analysis and interpretation provided a comprehensive assessment of:

  • Current state internal communication and collaboration across regional, functional and hierarchical perspectives
  • Key opportunities and risks for the organisation (i.e. answering the question: ‘why change our approach to internal communication and collaboration?’)
  • The effectiveness of the existing technology infrastructure in supporting current and future ways of working and communicating
  • Global and local technology roadmaps, and how these can be leveraged to support future internal communication and collaboration requirements
  • How the organisation approaches change, and how to most effectively manage any future internal communication and collaboration change programme

The findings had significant implications for the organisation, highlighting a fragmented internal communication and collaboration infrastructure based on a legacy business model and unsuited to the globalisation strategy. Furthermore, the strategic opportunities and risks surfaced through the consultation provided a clear imperative for change.

Leveraging the rich data and insights generated by the consultation and analysis, we provided comprehensive, evidence-based recommendations for addressing the identified opportunities and risks. Our recommended strategy focused on a collaborative, cross-functional approach to the design, launch and adoption of a new company-wide technology platform, building on the engagement and momentum generated through the consultation process. The strategy was supported by a high-level roadmap for change and a six month tactical implementation plan.