To diagnose the strength of a customer’s organization ecosystem, technology companies should ask their customers who owns digital. If digital is owned by marketing, the metrics may be around e-commerce, social media impressions, media optimization and channel mix. If digital is owned by IT, the customer may want to focus on digital tech platforms and software, cyber, the cloud and digital tools. If ownership lies somewhere else (strategy, finance, or, especially, direct report to CEO), a total business view is likely addressing both operations and growth across all areas of the business.
Return on digital investment often cannot be attributed to a specific digital solution, rather it is due to several solutions that combine to solve a specific business need. For tech companies, this illustrates the challenge of finding the right buyer within an organization. It also can be an opportunity to help customers think through digital KPIs with an approach that makes it possible to demonstrate impact to key stakeholders. By using their experience to showcase where customers can see value from a business perspective and partnering with them to formulate digital KPIs, a case can be made for future digital investment.
Technology companies can provide holistic solutions
Survey respondents also indicate that they are also struggling to scale digital initiatives due to talent shortages, funding constraints and ineffective operating models. Most companies indicate that they have yet to realize the full benefits of the digital initiatives across their organization. Tech companies can be strategic sellers by providing holistic solutions consisting of both products and consultative services. These solutions can bridge gaps where the customer has deficiencies. Specifically, they can help customers accelerate digital adoption by giving input during the research and ideation stages and by validating business use cases.
For example, a technology services company provided holistic assistance to a large telecom client in implementing business support processes and operations support systems through a multi-phased approach across its organization. The technology firm further assisted a global asset management organization in adapting a cloud managed services model to reduce costs and improve ongoing operational efficiencies. The holistic approach now drives software companies to understand the business model and connect layers within an organization’s software suite (two or more software programs bundled and sold together), in contrast to providing a single, specific-use-case solution.