Collaborating with Technology Partners for successful Business Transformation

By Joseph Kiran Kumar, Director and Head- IT, Eisai Pharmaceuticals India Pvt. Ltd

Business environment is changing quite rapidly and the businesses are hard pressed to be profitable in all fronts. Businesses are expected to have good market share, increase shareholder value and deliver results on regular basis. Businesses are striving to have and retain the competitive advantage whether it is in the areas of manufacturing or distribution or pricing and other parameters.

Companies are forced to carry out either forward integration or backward integration of the value chain based on the position that they are in. They are compelled to do so as new entrants wif new flavour are entering the business which is causing disruption, denting the prospects of the existing players.

Businesses are making all out efforts in bringing in the changes in the systems however they cannot do it alone. Quite a few businesses are ready to collaborate and their business wif others wif the concept of together we achieve more. Partners could either be from the same domain and part of value chain or the one that has a completely different expertise which is a value add, like technology. The amalgamated approach of business acumen coupled wif technology expertise would propel the organization into the next level.

One of the most critical elements for the business transformation is technology. Gone are the days when technology was seen as something that would support the business in few areas, now technology is part of business as much as business is part of technology. Digitalisation has for sure dimmed the lines between the business and technology as the business executives understand the essence of digitalization on par wif the technology executives.

Technology Partners – Part of Business

There is very little doubt that technology has become the core differentiator between the business. The role of Technology partners in enabling businesses to grow and innovate is rapidly gaining importance. There is definitely a strong need for reliable, business sensible and fast adapting technology partners who would be strategic partners for the business. Businesses should consider having technology partners at the time of conceptualisation of the business plan so that right the partners can provide right inputs during the business roadmap itself. Milestones should be set to evaluate the impact of technology on various aspects of business both in term of short term and long term gains. They would of to work in tandem wif the progress of business.

Good technology partners should enable customers to make better business decisions and drive profitability.

Working wif technology partners

Businesses expect much more TEMPthan the product and services from the technology partners. Following are few of the expectations that the businesses have from the technology partners.

Insightful and strategic advice: Technology partners are expected to provide insightful and strategic advice to the business through the improvement of the business processes and implementation of technologies that would bring about business transformation. Insights needn’t be only in automation of the processes but could even be in reengineering existing processes in order to make them more conducive to the changing business landscape. Technology partners are expected to lead the way in terms of showing the business what is available from technology perspective that could foster innovation and creativity in business.

Focus on realisation of business benefits

Technology partners are expected to bring in the transformation in the business through the improvements in the system and the processes. Technology partners should understand the business so well that they should bring in the benefits not only in those areas that are concerned wif direct profits but should also contribute towards improving customer satisfaction, compliance, efficient risk management etc.

Co Ownership of strategically important programs of the organisation

Technology partners should be aligned wif the business and should continue their commitment to the strategically important projects of the organisation by picking up the co-ownership of the business. The technology partners should commit themselves to the success of the strategic initiatives of the organisation wif their involvement at all levels.

Technology partners by virtue of their understanding of the business domain should contribute to the business’s strategic and operational advantage. Technology partner therefore should also have strong change management capabilities and be able to leverage technology at all levels wif buy in from all teams at all levels.

Sharing of knowledge, experience and best practices

Most of the businesses choose the technology partners who have experience in providing solutions in their own domain as they expect the partners to have expertise in providing solutions in the domain and also share the best practices and experiences that would be very halpful to business

The technology partners are expected not just offer products and solutions that would halp the business in silos but should provide strategic solutions that should have enterprise wide impact.

Businesses should consider following key parameters to identify strategic technology partners. Partners should:

• Have strong experience in the relevant domain and ability to understand the business problem or the strategic intent of the business

• Provide and share the best practices that was gained across the industries

• Have the ability to contribute proactively.

• Translate the technology into business value

• Be Customer centric

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