The IT channel is facing disruption for new technology, processes and delivery methods, and must act decisively to stay ahead of the competition.
That was the overarching message at the inaugural CompTIA ANZ channel community meeting, where John Kolenda, co-founder and managing director of Finsure Finance and Insurance delivered a keynote drawing parallels between the IT sector today, and the financial services industry in the 1990s.
Kolenda suggested that the IT industry is about to face some ‘very’ challenging times, with disruption around the corner for many companies.
Moheb Moses, CompTIA ANZ community director, says currently the IT sector is ‘in a state where there are good relationships with customers’.
But, he cautions, don’t take them for granted.
“Someone else can come along and take all your clients. As John highlighted, that’s what happened to the banks in the 1990s,” Moses says.
In order to survive and be a leader, companies must think like a disruptor, Moses says.
He offers up five key steps organisations need to take to differentiate themselves from competitors and says by following the steps organisations in the IT industry can maintain awareness of what’s going on in the market and innovate through technology improvement.
Think like a disruptor: Maintain a mindset of change within the business, always thinking about how your company can change and improve. Take note, too, of what is going on around the business and make sure your business is in a position to move rapidly.
Remember your purpose: A businesses purpose may not be the same as it was just a few years ago, so you may need to revisit your vision or mission statement. To get customers and staff on board, companies need to be very clear about what they want to achieve.
Know your value proposition: Know what your company’s value proposition is on a number of levels, not just from a business-to-consumer or business-to-business standpoint, but with all stakeholders, and articulate it.
Whether you’re dealing with customers or contractors, you need to keep them engaged. They are on the journey with you. Determine whether your value proposition has any unique qualities and what makes it different to what everyone else has. Spend some time clearly articulating these things.
Be nimble: Being nimble and having a culture of change is important and ties into disruption. If an organisation doesn’t have a culture that is adaptable and can change, how can it be successful at leading the market through disruption?
While it may seem very simple to encourage nimbleness, it can be hard for businesses with a history of doing things traditionally to make the necessary changes to establish a culture of change.
Analyse your competitors: Where a company sits in the market is vitally important. Analyse your competitors, work out your position among competitors in the market and identify where you can reposition yourself if needed.
If businesses really understand who their competitors are, they can draw up strategies and work out ways to keep ahead.