What I notice is that many people spontaniously create bureaucratie as they are scared to take the smallest piece of risk and say; "No. That doesn't work, You can't do that". So even though there is no formal approval required, people tend to believe that there is. This counts for both the proposer of an initiative as well as the one getting the proposal.
So often the "nay sayers" make things hard. This has much to do with the culture in the organization. If you have management (and in preference Executive Mgt), promote, push and evangelize risk taking you can already get a lot of autonomy and creativity back into your org.
Individual initiatives can provoke this quite easily as well I discovred a while back when I simply informed my manager that I would stop asking questions and just do the right thing for the company, team and myself until I was told to stop. Even on the statement I made I got silence :-) Wow! What a life changer in my job! I have never been more productive and creative since I did that.
So tech can certainly help, but the org culture, its structure and (exec) management engagement can easily make a big difference by encouriging people to simply reject some of the, what I would call "imaginary bureaucratie".
So let me ask a question and please excuse me for my ignorance...
What exactly do we expect Tech to resolve? Less approval processes? Easier approval processes? Or is tech just the reflection of the issue (as the approval processes all seem to be pretty sofisticated)?
Maybe we should have less of technology and more trust (in ourseleves, our subordinates and peers)?