Creating a digital partnership

Rachel Passmore
Office Manager | Ojo Solutions
8th June 2017
Member roleChamber member

Business parternships can be hugely beneficial for both parties, allowing a combination of wealth of knowledge and expertise from differing industries. Digital partnerships specifically can be a good way to respond to, or capitalise on, new opportunities. To interpret what these changes mean to the market and customers, then more importantly, when they will have an impact. By partnering with digital start-ups, businesses can continue to experiment with new propositions, develop new capabilities and design to exceed customer expectations, extending these offerings to reach broader audiences and markets. The benefits of partnership for start ups are easy to see.

Here are a few key thoughts when beginning any partnership.

1. Start with customer experience

Think about solving a particular customer challenge or frustration, bringing something new to market in order to fix it. In digital terms, good tech needs a purpose for its creation, something to disrupt the current marketplace that hopefully challenges conventions whilst meeting a current need.

Focusing on what customers want and need and how you can improve their experience can determine who are the best partners to help you achieve this goal.

2. Set a strategy

A business strategy should define the desired shared outcomes to give all partners confidence that their ROI and commitments will be shared equally. Ensure that successful ideas can be scaled quickly to show growth from the outset.

Try to look at ideas, challenges and strategies with creative, analytical, strategic and commercial insight. Deliver cutting edge technology solutions that will question convention, drive real benefit to your business and exceed expectations. 

3. Be open-minded and get creative

Think about your customers and where you want to be in the market. New partnerships, require an open mindset, in which multiple partners collaborate to create new forms of innovation in more experimental and entrepreneurial settings. This is critical for digital success.

4. Build a partnership that works for you

Some organisations may be worried about the risks of building a new partnership and want to plan ahead to make sure everything goes perfectly.

The reality is, humans learn as they go and adapt accordingly. Once your strategy is clear, you can then change course as necessary along the journey. Most roads have a few ‘bumps’ along the way but just see these as a learning process to achieving the end goal.

Every organisation has its limitations and you have to make sure your existing operations and technology can support any new partnerships you want to put in place. Business survival depends on our ability to sense and react to changes in our environment. Organisations need to adapt and embrace digital change, or they may simply get left behind.

5. Promote a digital culture

Digital leaders need to encourage their workforce to innovate and take risks. Focus on the bigger picture and the outcomes that will support this. Your vision needs to be reflected through your partnership and ultimately all who work for you.

It’s about tackling practices and behaviours that may have become deep-rooted. Managing digital success involves adopting certain characteristics and challenging the ‘norm’.

6. Look beyond your own industry

Determine which trends will matter and when they will affect the business. Create a foundation of new partnerships firstly within your industry then with the venture community and start-ups, or with technology providers and business schools. Digital winners need disruption-seeking radar to foresee the next big thing.

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