Are You Riding the Digital Wave? Or, Fighting the Undertow?
The digital economy is evolving–I know it, you know it. How solution providers ramp up to help their customers embrace digital transformation could be the difference between extinction and a thriving, vibrant business. There’s a tidal wave of competitive change happening. Will your ride it? Or will you get sucked under?
The leaders of this new economy are those who invent business models that deliver value to their customers and offer a great experience: Think Uber, Airbnb, Netflix … Before we realized it, these companies became part of our business and social reflex. The other day it happened to me. I’m hosting a meeting for about 20 people in Palo Alto, and instead of car rentals or taxis, I told them to “grab an Uber” from SFO. I didn’t consider anything else.
This transformation in the customer psyche is changing industries (Uber vs. taxi) and rendering some businesses extinct (Netflix vs. Blockbuster). Was it indecision, denial or slow adoption that marked the end of life for Blockbuster? Maybe all three?
Either way, here’s a sobering prediction from Peter Diamandis, CEO of the non-profit XPRIZE Foundation: 40% of S&P 500 companies may not be in business 10 years from now if they don’t seriously rethink their business models.
To avoid being the next Blockbuster or idling taxi cab, businesses need technology that delivers high customer value in a very digital, mobile, instantaneous world. This is highlighted in a new study titled “Conquering Disruption through Digital Transformation,” conducted by IT research firm IDC and sponsored by SAP. (Here’s the short version in the press release).
No matter the industry, size of business or target customer, solution providers can prosper and profit by helping their customers find a way to innovate. Maybe it’s with cloud, or with technologies like in-memory computing and predictive analytics. No matter what the end solution is, customers are looking to their technology providers to help them determine how to survive and thrive.
Digital Transformation Key for SMEs
The good news for solution providers is that a recent IDC study shows that many small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) already realize the importance of this transformation. More than 39% of SMEs agreed that active participation in the digital economy will be essential to their company’s survival during the next three to five years.
It seems many are also ready to embrace the value of analytics, collaborative and customer relationship management software, and other solutions as a differentiator that helps them compete with larger companies. It’s time to figure out how you will embrace digital transformation as a value creation driver, so you can advise and provide customers with the right solutions.
Partners should look for vendors to provide thought leadership, research and illuminating insights from their evangelists or industry leaders on the digital economy and beyond. At SAP, we focus on helping our partners develop their digital mindset. We provide guidance on migrating to a cloud model, access to innovation platforms like SAP HANA Cloud Platform, services to diagnose digital sales readiness, and lessons on how to build and amplify all the aspects of their digital marketing.
The digital economy is here. Are you ready to ride the wave? Hang 10.
Ira Simon (@IraASimon) is global vice president, Partner & SME Marketing at SAP. Learn more about partnership opportunities at: http://go.sap.com/partner.html