Tuesday, August 01, 2017

New Rules for Start-Ups in the Age of Digital Transformation

I have had the opportunity to work for and around a good many start-ups during the course of my career.  Often the start-up founders would simply define a problem, develop a solution and launch a company.  The marketing department would then do their very best to identify the individuals in each target company that experienced the problem and had a budget to fix it.  This was always a challenging task, but it is even harder today.

Today, start-ups must not only identify a problem that needs solved, but they must compete against "digital transformation" initiatives in both the business and IT organizations that are trying to reduce complexity through the elimination of applications, customized software solutions, IT systems, multiple instances of ERPs and vendors.

The goal of many organizations today is to simplify the IT environment, and to make business processes much faster and agile.  I see many companies seeking to standardize on a handful of platforms like Salesforce.com, SAP, Adobe, Ariba, SuccessFactor, etc. Too many systems in an IT inventory, means too much complexity and the increased risk that data will be compromised, and that systems will be too expensive to maintain, secure and upgrade.  In this age of fast changing digital consumer behaviors, flexibility and simplicity equal organizational speed to keep up with their markets.

What is the answer for start-ups?  Start-up solutions must appeal to the digital transformation goals of their target customers.  It means their solution must be cloud based and automatically upgraded to stay aligned with customer's core platforms and systems.  It means offering artificial intelligence enabled robotic process automation, chatbots and machine learning that can improve predictability, simplify complexity and eliminate troublesome areas of service and performance.  It must not result in any additional layers of complexity, rather new solutions need to solve big problems, while at the same time reducing complexity, and increasing agility and the operational tempo of the business.



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Kevin Benedict
President, Principal Analyst, Futurist, the Center for Digital Intelligence™
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.