Some of the biggest challenges faced by the IT industry – especially service providers – are differentiation, staying ahead of the technological curve, and maintaining a competitive edge over competitors. Daunting tasks for any company. But as stated in commentary of Sun Tzu’s Art of War, alliances are essential to any campaign (parts 11.52-55: Alliances). This is especially true in technology.
In the ever-evolving world of IT, it can be difficult for companies to keep up with the latest trends and technologies. This presents a real and ever-changing set of challenges that can be won with the right alliances for the campaign.
Before we dive too deep – what exactly are strategic partnerships?
They are a force multiplier – collaborative relationships between companies that share common goals and objectives. They aim to create reciprocal value through shared resources, knowledge, and expertise. Relationships make take multiple forms – most relevant here is a technology partnership.
A survey by CompTIA found 58% of IT companies plan to increase their investment in partnerships over the next year. But why? Creating and leveraging strategic partnerships can drive benefits including access to new markets and customers, increased innovation, product/service improvements, and brand recognition (heads up, this is going to become a theme).
Access New Markets
By teaming up with a partner who has strong presence in a particular market, organizations can expand their reach and tap into new customer segments. Leveraging a partner’s different industry expertise, for example, provides access to previously out-of-reach prospects and customers.
Organizations can accelerate innovation by working with partners with complementary skills and expertise. Combining strengths and expertise can improve a product or service offering to better meet customer needs. Naturally, this results in increased customer satisfaction and brand recognition (told you this would pop up!).
Many organizations work with partners to reduce costs and increase efficiencies. Sharing resources and knowledge allow them to streamline operations and improve their bottom line. In fact, Forrester found that companies with mature partnerships are nearly 2X more likely to experience faster revenue growth than those without such partnerships. Who doesn’t want that?!
Increased Brand Awareness
Here it is again! Brand awareness raises when partnering companies harness cutting-edge software and produce highly innovative products. There is also an added benefit of being viewed as a sponsorship of sorts when presented as a strategic partner. It improves reputation and therefore customer trust and loyalty.
Improved Operational Efficiency
One thing not to be overlooked is how a strategic partner relationship can improve operational efficiency via shared resources and expertise (like how it impacts innovation). Operational efficiency gains can drive cost savings, increased productivity, and better customer service (which leads us back to trust and recognition!).
Investing in strategic partnerships has enabled Paradigm to deliver value to countless clients! We recently saved one customer up to $8M annually and improved order management efficiency by 15% by combining our services and expertise with our strategic partner’s tool suite.
Strategic partnerships are powerful tools for companies looking to stay ahead of the curve. By teaming up with partners who have complementary skills and expertise, organizations can access new markets, improve their offerings, reduce costs, increase efficiency, and accelerate innovation. With constant industry growth, these alliances will continue to be vital to growth strategies and goals. Who are you partnering with to ensure success?
By Jorge Diaz “JD” Santana, Strategic Alliance Manager