Great teams are diverse and multi-disciplinary, using a wide array of skills and perspectives to deliver successful projects. The same idea scales up to the organizational level; organizations derive a competitive advantage by combining the differing competences within. A great organization might not have the competencies that allow for effective development and management of their technology stack. This is where a technology partner comes in. So how can you determine if a technology partnership is right for your organization?
Deliver value by producing a product or service worth more to your client than it cost you
Sounds simple right? There are two core elements required to make a business model work. The first is a market need. It does not matter how amazing your product or service is, if no one has a need for it. Once a need has been identified, the second requirement is assembling the skills and resources necessary to produce the product or service. These skills and resources are known as core competencies. Core competencies are a defining capability or advantage that distinguishes an enterprise from its competitors.
Your organization is defined by its core competencies
It is critically important to understand what makes your organization great. Human talent, processes, and capital investments make up the critical components that differentiate your organization. Unfortunately, this simplified model of assumptions ignores resource constraints. It is impossible to do it all. Compromise from the ideal vision is inevitable; however, constraints are the forge that define elements of your organization. What makes your organization great? Changing technology is forcing a rapid transformation of human talent, processes, and capital investments. How much does what you are “great at” overlap with the technology that enables being great? Recognize that there is a difference between being fluent at operating versus being fluent in development and administration. Time and resources spent in development and administration can diminish the effectiveness of our core product or services. It is impossible to be great at everything.
When a Technology Partnership makes sense
Create something greater than the sum of its parts
The most critical element to the idea of a technology partnership is understanding that the environment your organization operates in, is not a zero-sum competition. The cake is a lie, competing for a bigger slice will ensure that the scope of opportunity (the cake) remains fixed. A classic example of this worldview is the merger of directly competing firms, instead of combining differing competencies, it is a merger “of equals” to provide the same competencies at a larger scale. A bigger slice of the same cake. Technology partnerships are not outsourcing either, unlike outsourcing a partnership is not transactional, it is mutually additive.
What if you want a bigger cake, or maybe pie is more your thing? A technology partnership links differing competencies whose unique composition creates something greater than the sum of its parts. It is important to note that technology partnerships require a high-level trust relationship to flourish. With differing competencies, expect that cultures will differ; therefore, spending more time upfront to have a clear shared vision and core purpose defined is essential. For some organizations the technology they use is core to their business model. While for others technology is just an enabler. Technology partnerships make sense if more energy and resources can be focused on what makes your organization great.