What happens to your IT sourcing strategy in a world where everything is digital, where IT is a close and integral part of the business and digital is part of your strategy? The question is not If, the question is How does today’s globalization and digitization impact your future sourcing? Clearly the future of successful IT sourcing requires a new type of approach, expertise and agreements to develop sustainable and trustful collaborative relationships.
In this blog post I share three key elements of how to build your digital ecosystem for your future sourcing:
1. Your DNA
First, you need to create a digital ecosystem that has your DNA. Your digital ecosystem needs to perfectly fit your business, your specific needs and have a cultural fit. So how do you find your DNA? You do this by asking and answer 5 key questions that form the DNA of your company. These questions are: Who are we? Where do we come from? Which is our current position? Where are we going? How do we get there? Your origin as well as the future direction all give you the understanding of the characteristics your digital ecosystem needs to have.
Having done that, you build your digital ecosystem based on your sourcing strategy which has its roots in your business strategy. The sourcing strategy decides upon what parts are performed internally and what parts can more efficiently be performed by 3rd parties. I’d say, owning and doing yourself or not, is the big question in the global, shared economy and technology-intensive world we live in. Go for what gives you the greatest competitive advantage.
The relationship is business wise based on an agreement governing the customer and supplier relationship. As we live in a rapidly changing business world, how do you build in flexibility in your contract for your future needs? You need to build in agility and flexibility in your contracts and commercial models to optimize your digital ecosystem. You also need to rethink about your governance organization. Do you use the same governance regardless stable and agile modes? Or are you working bimodal as Gartner describes the practice of managing two separate, coherent modes of IT delivery. Your ability to change and transform is for sure clearly crucial.
Relationships are important, how do you together create the positive climate of cooperation to make the agreement work in practice. Positive relationships are needed to get the most value for both parties. Have you also reflected upon that in the dynamic world we live in, the roles in your digital ecosystem might change? Today you are the customer and tomorrow you might be the supplier in the same ecosystem – for sure something to reflect upon in the relationship.
What about your innovation organization? How are you driving innovation based on the culture, entrepreneurship and incentive your management has created and is encouraging? How do your suppliers and partners in your digital ecosystem contribute to your business development? Applied innovation is your ability to absorb it, to adopt it, to consume it, to scale it and to really leverage the innovation for true business value and impact. A digital ecosystem with your DNA has a built-in innovation force. Make sure it gets released. The partners that give you energy and help you develop your business thru innovation are the ones that you will spend your valuable time with. In the future sourcing I think we will see more of #innovationpartnerships – as that is the key to access modern technology, product development and business models. Digital leaders make sure they have created their unique digital ecosystem for new ideas and innovation.