The following is an excerpt by Acceleration Economy Analyst, Janet Shijns which appeared in the Future Office of the CFO edition of the Acceleration Economy Journal. The September 2021 issue addressed the role executives play in technology investments, how automation architecture impacts business processes, developing partnerships for optimal business continuity, cybersecurity and risk mitigations, the importance of deep analytical skills, and much more.
The name of the game in technology is partnering; for growth, for full solutions, and even for retention – one thing has never changed – the partner ecosystem is the preferred route to market for most of the technology sold in the B2B space, and the CFO is now in the middle of this process.
These partner ecosystems have evolved in the past few years to be less about straight sell to and sell with arrangements and moved into a more complex and trifurcated approach that brings multiple players to the table to deliver solutions at a pace that was previously not thought possible. Communities of these partners, long considered competitors on some level, have come together to solve their joint customers’ most vexing business problems, or attack their most opportunistic areas of growth with the speed of technology.
No Code/ Low Code in the Partner Ecosystem
The no code / low code space is a particularly robust example of the partner ecosystem delivering new results in an age where the #digitalnormal has become the siren call to partners to help CFOs embrace and use technology in and for their business.
In this, the no code / low code partner ecosystem space has an advantage; the flexibility and speed with which platforms in this space can be used by partners to deliver the products customers want is breaking all the time to solution rules. This is enabling partners to achieve things like moving all employees to remote access in a services firm or convert that bloated and outdated system to a cloud-based nimble platform that delivers the right digital customer experience. For this ecosystem delivering at the speed of business is the reality – they know that fast is the new big.
The Powerful “Megacosm”
Let’s look at an example of how this might work in an average business transformation project. Traditionally, an IT consultant would come in working with the CFO, LOB and Technology management to propose a highly customized solution, design a project scope, and provide a multi-year road map with large upfront hardware and software costs. The customer would accept the business disruption inherent from these system changes and upgrades, as well as a very high cost for ongoing support and customization. The legacy solution or resale partner would then contract out for any task that needed to be supported and mark those services up back to the customer. This model known as the “one throat to choke” model had some very relevant uses when the solutions were premise-based, single vendor threaded, or were designed as a custom solution for the firm in question.
Enter today, where CFOs don’t have the time, budgets, or attention span to build these bespoke solutions. The business leadership anticipates, due to low and no code solutions in the market, that their solution can be on a flexible platform, cloud-based, usage fee-centric and aggregated by knitting together a few off-the-shelf solutions with limited customization. They also anticipate that the partner will bring the right parties to the table, that the partners will work together and be transparent in both their fees and their abilities to solve problems. The one throat to choke evolves into a team that works together to limit disruption, lower costs, and provide a rapid change environment where customers can achieve a future state today.
This magic in the partner ecosystem allows customers to achieve their goals without breaking the bank. We call it the “megacosm” (a group of partners who together can bring a full solution that transforms a business to the table) here at JS Group. When you are part of the megacosm deals just begin to show up in a partner’s funnel, and close in half the time from the traditional sales funnel.
Want to know more? Interested in how to harness this partner ecosystem trend of the megacosm for your business–as a CFO customer or a partner serving them, the value is huge.
This column will be a recurrent feature in the Acceleration Economy Journal and will discuss innovation in the partner space, how to harness both traditional and non-traditional ecosystems for growth, and how to get your all-important partnering strategy into top gear.