From ‘how?’ to ‘what?’ The digital side effect that will help define 2016

Digital is streamlined, slick, digs deep, gets personal. It has evolved from electronic brochure-ware to multi-party, feature rich, interactive platforms that facilitate cross-sector collaboration to create personalized end-to-end products and services for customers. For agile businesses, it’s a ‘just add water and stir’ model that’s proving highly effective. These organizations no longer think about ‘how’, only ‘what’.

2015 has seen businesses do a lot of thinking about how to make their business models more responsive and agile to participate in a digital economy and ecosystem. What they have realized is that they don’t have to do everything themselves — it’s not about ‘how’; it’s not about building the required capabilities by themselves. If they can define the ‘what’ they need to deliver their customer value proposition to market and are open to working in a partner ecosystem model, they can partner for speed, reach, and differentiation, and a whole lot more.

What does that mean in terms of competitiveness?

Through partnering, entrepreneurs can go from zero to launching a business in just a few days by leveraging these new age partnering models, including making use of start-up kits, funding, and cloud based software and infrastructure solutions (that are consumption based). Big and established brands can equally benefit from this new way of working — finding sponsorship and commitment to a new way of working will be the biggest challenge in these organizations. These established organizations will be able to improve speed to market through amongst other ideas augmenting external partners (and their networks) to drive organizational innovation, through to delivering solutions to their clients that challenge established architectures and move to cross-firewall architectures that combine the best of the existing legacy solutions with the best cloud-based solutions or components.

It’s going to make for a fast-paced 2016 characterized by creativity and innovation. My advice: keep your eyes wide open, understand these new business models and value propositions, and act! In 2016, partnerships can spell ‘agility’ and ‘success.’