If you are involved in the technology sector in Australia or New Zealand, you’ll know that there have been some significant changes in the last twelve months in terms of how it operates, which companies are succeeding and which ones are failing miserably. And unless you are prepared to ignore what is going in the hope that it is just a temporary blip, you are going to have to totally transform your business strategy and your approach to the market.
While technology transformation may not be as glamorous as changing other industries; reinventing the world of sport, or art, or literature – it is still a very interesting and challenging time. For me, it’s a passion. If like me, you’ve been in IT most of your career – changing the whole way the industry works and being part of a revolution is pretty exciting.
What does it mean to “change the whole way this works”? Well, if you think of the classic model, it goes something like this; an IT services firm sells software to a customer. They install, service and manage that software. Sometimes they do some business consulting along the way.
This may be a bit of an over-simplification, but that’s the basic idea. It’s a rational way to make money. IBM sells lots of software, but the software is complex. Complex software for complex business problems. That’s where firms like us help. It’s an important place in the market and is very important to companies who need it. Solving their problems and helping them make more money is the number one objective at the end of the day.
However, now more than ever market conditions are changing. This technology revolution we’ve been living through in the past 20 years has matured and not everyone wants to buy software and hire people to install and service it. There is open source software that does a lot for free, that can be installed with one click. Or you can just sign up and start using it without doing anything other than entering your credit card. There is software that ALREADY DOES everything a client wants. At least it does A LOT of what a client wants and you get it just by signing up.
So why exist at all I hear you say? Well, there are still companies that want premium level consulting and industry consulting. There are still companies using and evolving their IBM software. So improving your operational efficiencies and becoming more profitable is one reason some companies have survived. It’s important work and as things evolve, the right expertise will become even more important as the software market evolves.
Even if you can get the software easily in the cloud, you still need people who know how to use it, how to analyse data, how to adopt it. There is a lot of satisfaction in solving people’s business problems and there are not enough talented people around who are willing to do it.
Unless you think that head in the sand approach is going to work, you need to change your entire business model, by bringing full solutions to the market. You need to be able to offer proprietary software on top of existing software that adds sustainable value and continuously deliver and manage it over a long period of time.
What is really needed by most sectors in Australia and New Zealand is to go through a period of business and digital transformation to help them plan and execute their move to as-a-service and cloud models.
There are definitely IT firms that are making the cultural and financial investments required to change the way they operate at a core level. Those that are now able to compete with the cool cloud start-ups and specialised as-a-service vendors are winning the game. If you strengthen your core capabilities while evolving your ability to deliver the right solutions in a changing market, you are sure to attract new customers and talent and are destined to succeed.
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Find out how you can stay ahead of the digital disruption with our 10 Trends for Data, Devices and Design in 2016 infographic. Download it here.