How to Get Started: Build, Buy and Partner
We’re living in an era when digital technologies and experiences evolve faster than organizations can adapt. Did you know that 52% of the Fortune 500 companies since the year 2000 are now gone? The rules have changed. Gone are the days of innovating solely on cost and efficiency. Driven by digital, companies innovate and transform by building, buying or partnering with specialized teams. In many cases, they’re doing all three.
In recent years, we’ve seen great examples. Target went from outsourced teams to in-house expertise. In 2014, Capital One purchased Adaptive Path, a design and user experience firm, and created specialized teams to form new lines of business and launch significant growth in the past seven years. Even Domino’s Pizza has created strategic partnerships to design and build new customer platforms that are driving success and change.
Single vs. Multiple Partnerships
In some cases, I’ve seen organizations mistakenly think DX can happen with a single partner. Or they think a single partner can be asked to take on portions of a DX program that essentially fall outside their areas of expertise. This is not only risky, but also puts partners in an awkward position.
A few years ago, I was helping a global drinks business prioritize and scale an IoT product innovation and transformation program. The exercise took months with multiple partners in the room at times. Toward the end of their partner selection process, the CIO asked me, “Do you think you would be able to structure an ROI for us?” I told him our team could focus on structuring ROI around our areas of expertise – user experience and IoT technology. But if he wanted a larger and more sophisticated ROI, he should work with the management consulting company in the room. I told him it would be the best option for the business.
He replied, “Yeah, no. Your team really speaks our language, so we want to go with you.” The CIO was pulled into another conversation, and I was left concerned. He didn’t seem to think having multiple partners set the foundation for success.
Work with Integrity
Recently I had a conversation on this issue with Melissa McElroy, SPR’s Director of Solution Delivery. She nailed it. “We can’t pretend to be something we’re not,” Melissa said. “We need to be a good partner by educating and supporting potential clients despite establishing a partnership and closing a deal.”
Beware, though. Throughout your digital transformation journey, you may not always run into partners with this level of integrity.
When it’s all said and done, you will have many partners throughout your journey and continuum. My advice? Pick partners and hire people who help you live the right mindset. Doing so will successfully activate lasting change across the key areas of Experiences, People, Business and Technology. And while the thoughts represented here are by no means exhaustive, hopefully it helps elevate your thinking around DX as more than just a series of projects and inspires you to think about how you might get started. Speaking of which, now that we’ve covered a bit of the "what", let's next focus on the "how" you can kickstart Digital Transformation. Stay tuned!