2020 companies will be totally interlinked organizations within an ecosystem in which new strategic partnerships and associations will be formed, as well with customers, suppliers and competitors!
A profound transformation of the ecosystem
The growth of value creation is a major trend in digital era. We witness more and more companies opening up, thanks to the multiplication of the interactions allowed by cloud, data repositories, connected objects … This condition requires companies to rethink their business partnership strategies within their ecosystem in order to succeed in the age of digitization.
This ecosystem is very extensive, with an interesting diversity of actors, such as, GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon), start-ups, innovative SMEs, communities, customers, employees, self-entrepreneurs, suppliers, public and local authorities and political institutions… In the era of “co-something”, a company can no longer succeed alone in its market, particularly because of the rapid emergence of new business models, competitors “out of nowhere” and an accelerated renewal technology.
The challenges: anticipate and ally
Controlling the ecosystem depends on anticipating the evolution of it’s different actors, to be noted that actors in the traditional IT are not necessarily those of the current ecosystem, nor, of tomorrow. Some will disappear or merge, others will emerge, many will become partners.
Establishing a good relationship with the right partner, which can be a supplier, requires joint sharing of opportunities and risks, commitment to common goals, and shearing value. And this sharing of value aims to bring something new and positive to the partners, and ultimately to help them grow. Strategic partnerships can be established when there are common objectives for value creation. With this perspective, the partnership is strategic and is quite different from the traditional customer-supplier relationship (even major), in which the parties are bound by a contract for the providing services.
The objectives of each party must be the same and the balance of the relationship arises precisely because of that different but valuable opinions and ideas.
Challenges: Negotiation and Confidence
- Collaborate: one of the typical challenges of partnerships will be to manage the paradox between internal resources (including CIOs) that are experiencing difficulties and struggles, collaborating and, on the other hand, the market, which requires close collaboration to better innovate.
- Dialogue: companies are confronted with a cultural interoperability challenge in order to engage all the actors involved, even if they do not share a common language.
- Establishing trust: a partnership relation is always based on trust. Thus, it is not a question of “collaborating to collaborate”, but of collaborating to win together, in order to create communities that engage clients and collaborators.
R-Link is the result of a long-term partnership between Renault and Tom-Tom. R-Link is an integrated multimedia tablet, driven by a tactile control or an advanced voice command. It combines, the various functions related to multimedia in the car such as, navigation, radio, telephony, messaging, well-being, eco-driving. Renault’s interest in combining with Tom-Tom was to increase the value for its customers, to know them better and to improve the level of service.
This example illustrates the idea of a service platform: Renault added services to its products by developing the customer experience.
To conclude, I’ll say that the success of these new partnership model depends only on the business taking much greater role in designing, building, and exploiting the technology, platforms, and data it needs to succeed. Overcoming challenges of traditional IT management is a step forward of bringing IT closer to its true mission and succeeding in all IT collaborations.