When selecting an IT partner, organizations should choose a partner based on quality of service and trust.
In the first of a series exploring the importance of IT partnerships, Jarosław Granat, Head of Customer Engagement at Future Processing, shares his tips on how to maximize the value of vendor collaborations
It goes without saying that not everyone can be a master of everything. This applies immensely to IT companies that tackle complex tasks across multiple technologies and infrastructures on a daily basis. It’s becoming clear that IT companies that execute their strategies solo are missing out on the potential strengths of large IT vendor collaborations, which include multiple experts with different skill sets across a plethora of applications.
In other words, an IT partner with the right talents and skills is likely to be able to select the right solution for the customer, rather than the main vendor who doesn’t specialize in the customer’s specific needs. In order to develop and nurture productive partnerships, IT companies need to know when to partner, who to partner with, and how to add value to a partnership.
A partnership is a value-added relationship that develops over time based on trust. It takes an equal effort from both sides to evolve into an IT partnership that allows both parties to share their ideologies, working cultures, expertise and strategies. In a healthy IT partnership, it is always the collective “we” that overcomes challenges, celebrates successes and plans strategies – all of which not only lead to trust, authenticity and credibility, but also reinforce the relationship between the two entities. Moreover, in order to build and maintain a successful partnership, companies must follow certain fundamentals and set appropriate criteria.
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Price: never a criterion for judging
It is undeniable that when a partnership is based on price, it often lacks the appropriate skills required to achieve successful results. The IT partners with the highest price can often spend more time, money and resources on a project than it actually needs. On the other hand, partnerships based on cheaper prices may face challenges with required skills and limited technical capabilities to produce high quality results. Moreover, it is obvious that, whether high or low, price is never the appropriate criterion on which to base a decision when selecting an IT partner.
However, a human-to-human approach should be applied when defining criteria for choosing the appropriate IT partner. While these factors may differ for each company, a healthy requirement focuses on understanding fundamentals such as service quality, skills, culture, values, goals, interests, and most importantly, trust. . It is worth mentioning that selecting an IT partner is not a one-time thing; rather, it takes enough time to gain an understanding of the business and its role in the project. Open and transparent communication between the two partners from the start is essential to establish a relationship of trust that adds further value to the successful partnership.
Trust: always an essential foundation
Trustworthy partners can promote open and transparent communication in every IT partnership. For a partner to share a concern, challenge or updates, there must be a safe atmosphere that can allow a smooth flow of communication between the two without any barriers. This doesn’t happen overnight, instead building trust is an ongoing process in which both parties must exert equal effort. Confidence doesn’t just mean believing in your partner, but being willing to see the partner’s point of view and values with equal importance.
True partnership is always free from secrets which can be detrimental to the business, for example the secret management of a competitive organization by the partner is a dishonest practice and can lead to a loss of authenticity, credibility and, in fact, of a whole partnership itself. Trusted partners, however, are aware that under-delivering or over-selling can result in the loss of the customer and referrals in the future, which means they can generate fruitful results in the longer term.
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No room for master-slave partnerships
It is important to consider that a partnership is a commitment of equal involvement, transparency and the application of each other’s skills, thoughts and values in the achievement of business objectives. Therefore, the partnership should never be dominated by one party on any basis, but should rather accommodate maximum participation from both sides. It is this willingness to work collaboratively that adds value to the business and brings better results.
Working in partnership can bring better results than working on a command and control model. Customer requirements can often be dynamic and it is better to enlist the expertise of an in-house partner than to try to offer a solution for which the company does not have expertise. Unlike a profit-centric process, a mixed problem-solving approach can lead to increased customer satisfaction. and deliver valuable results for everyone involved.