Digital transformation is a journey and, like any other, requires planning, dedication and passion.
What is the final destination?, How are we getting there? and, most importantly, Who are we going with? are important questions that every company asks itself when it starts embracing the change.
Making the decision of relying on a digital partner and of outsourcing technology can be a challenge for companies that might want to keep their projects internal. However, in a world where both technology and innovation are key factors for a company's growth, moving quickly is essential. Establishing a collaboration with the right digital partner will help move faster and stay ahead of the competition.
Data shows that more and more companies are opting for this option, in fact, the global outsourcing market amounted to 92.5 billion U.S. dollars just in 2019 (Statista, 2020). In 2020, large corporations will experience a stronger collaboration between the internal teams and the outsourced ones and small and medium sized companies will show even a more robust outsourcing trend. In fact, according to Clutch.co, about 52% of small businesses will continue to outsource some business activities and many of them will increase their digital budgets from 6% to 9%.
Establishing a strategic partnership with the right partner allows companies to have fresh insights that help them make the best decisions in terms of planning, digital strategy and product delivery. In our experience as digital partners, we found that combining our client’s domain knowledge with our own expertise and digital skills, resulted in the creation of something that delighted our customers and their customers: the right digital product.
As mentioned, we’ve embarked on many digital transformation journeys with companies as their own (outsourced) innovation arm. During this time, we’ve found that there are 4 main success factors in the relationship between the “outsourced partner” and the “client”.
Trust is key. The “outsourced partner” has to be considered part of the company: transparency and clear communication help operations and decisions to be made with a higher degree of certainty.
Trust doesn’t happen overnight though - it has to be gained. Therefore, the crucial aspect that any outsourced team should be obsessed with is reliability. Being there. Being responsible. Most importantly, delivering something everybody can be proud of.
Definition of success
What does success look like? Defining success and related metrics beforehand is an effective way to keep everybody on the right track and make the digital partnership shine. In fact, not defining KPIs has a negative impact on the outcome itself. By outlining what needs to be achieved from the beginning, the team members can put actions in place in order to help the client realise the dream.
For us, success always has to be a number we can move towards. When it’s easier to measure, it’s easier to optimise, so it’s easier to succeed.
Outsourcing doesn’t mean that you’re giving up on the management of your journey, it just means that you are working with additional team members. There is no loss of control. However, having roles and responsibilities clearly defined is a crucial aspect of this collaboration, which implies respect, communication and support on both sides.
Although it is not easy to define, it is key to enjoy getting on the same team (and, sometimes, being in the same room for a whole day). If this factor is not there, the relationship is not going to be 100% successful.
More and more companies are and will be involved in digital transformation journeys and in digital partnerships; we hope that these insights will help you identify the main ingredients for a successful and long lasting relationship with your digital partner.