The ‘always on’ customer is driving a new era of organisation – an organisation that must look past its current form and look to draw on the ‘power of many’ to drive innovation in a hyper-disruptive world.
Telstra recently launched Connecting Companies: Strategic Partnerships for the Digital Age, the second in a series of global thought leadership research pieces, with the first part called ‘Connecting Countries’ published in 2014. The latest research examines how businesses are responding to a new environment of rapid change and technological disruption, with many finding it increasingly tough to go it alone. As a result, many companies are entering into digital partnerships of one form or another to develop digital capabilities.
Conventional strategic relationships between organisations have of course been around for many years, however, the traditional alliances have historically been about the complementarity of assets, logistics firms pooling container ships to make a new route for example. The difference with digital partnerships is that they are all about knowledge – today’s firms are so specialised that it means knowledge is really very difficult to get.
The digital revolution itself, by sharply reducing the costs of doing business, is enabling small, specialist businesses to punch above their weight. The Connecting Companies research supported this as when specifically asked their view on technology driven start-ups, over a third of our respondents called them out as potential business partners – in some regions, such as China, we saw this number increase to over half.
Being able to do one thing brilliantly and having the depth of capability required to do that better than anyone else starts differentiating you in the market – however more specialised organisations require a lot more collaboration.
What stands out for me most of all in our most recent report is that only 24 percent of executives said their companies were responsible for causing digital disruption. This means three-quarters of businesses are either just responding or only watching disruption happen to them. That really is asking for trouble. If you aren’t trying to find ways to use digital technology to disrupt your competitors and find new customers, there’s every chance someone will eat your lunch!
For us, Connecting Companies has allowed us to gain a better understanding of our own customers’ approach to digital transformation and has highlighted the need for a clear digital road map. There is no use running out and forming alliances because everyone else is doing it, companies must be strategic in their choices, working with trusted partners to embark on their own digital discovery. I encourage you all to download the report for the full findings and we look forward to using these insights to aid ongoing development of Telstra’s own digital capabilities.
Learn more about the recent report in the Telstra webinar: Connecting Companies: Strategic Partnerships for the Digital Age. Register here.