Where is Localization on Your Company’s Org Chart?

Optimizing the Localization Department in a Digital-First Company

Last Updated: July 3, 2019 10:35AM

“The world’s gone digital.”

We hear it all the time: the loudening drumbeat of digitization. “Going digital” has changed how companies operate—both how they deliver products and services to their customers and how their internal departments interact with one another.

For localization professionals, there’s a duality to digitization, which can yield as many challenges as opportunities. Particularly, how does the localization department fit into a digital-first company? How can localization managers work seamlessly with other departments, such as marketing?

A first step in crafting strong inter-departmental relationships is to understand where localization rests on your company’s organizational chart. Answers lie in the org chart—which can identify how your localization department works on a daily basis, the types of partners you’ll need to assist you, and the future trajectory of localization services within your company.

Your localization department likely falls into one of four categories. Identify yours to ascertain your unique needs (and find out how a localization partner could help).

1. Single Centralized: “Default”

You have a large, dedicated team dedicated to localization. You and your team either report to a Shared Services vertical, or into specific departments such as Product, International, or Sales. Your service offering is the “default” within your organization, so all localization activities within the company go through you.

2. Single Centralized: “Non-Default”

As in the department described above, your localization offering is the translation hub for the entire company. However, there are exceptions—specially-tasked local marketing teams, specific product teams, or “secret project” teams within the organization may not use your services.

3. Multiple Centralized

Rather than having a single, centralized team, your company has multiple localization teams: each centralized within its own operating sphere. Some global companies with multiple product lines use this type of structure, with separate-and-autonomous localization teams working on each of the different lines.

4. Decentralized/Hybrid

Localization is embedded within Marketing and is not a separate entity within the organization. This may or may not work to your advantage in terms of integrating the two functions, but it almost always creates gaps in service that make enlisting the aid of localization and translation partners all the more imperative.


Which category best describes your localization department? Based on your needs and your company’s workflow, how can you optimize your relationship with colleagues from other departments? Find out by downloading our new whitepaper: Six (and a Half) Proven Ways for Localization Managers to Meet the Challenges of Digital Transformation.

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#digital marketing #global marketing #localization #translation