As we all know the way we work is changing. As markets and customer needs evolve, companies are beginning to recognise the need for developing a complete ecosystem around the customer – a task that can’t be accomplished alone. Companies in the High-Tech space must rethink their approach to collaboration and partnership if they are to continue to thrive. In order to develop a full, shared, 360-degree view of their customers, High Tech companies must move beyond the siloed approach that has dominated their industry.
Harnessing the power of shared data, identifying relevant partnerships, and proactively responding to changing customer needs – these are the cornerstones of future success in any sector.
In order to build this interconnected service offering, companies must look beyond their own self-contained ecosystem. They must identify relevant cross-sector and cross-industry partnerships that will enhance the experience they offer. They need to use data more intelligently and democratise its use across the company, ultimately creating a deeper understanding of the consumer.
The UK government has already identified the economic potential of data-sharing between companies. As part of their recently-launched National Data Strategy, the government stated their goal of maintaining the level of data-sharing reached during the pandemic – far beyond its immediate applications within healthcare. The purpose of the strategy is to facilitate “sharing of data of appropriate quality between organisations in the public, private and third sectors […] to support vibrant competition and innovation, which will in turn drive future growth.” Shared access to quality data is vital to driving new economic opportunities.
Companies may also find potential in building partnerships with other companies in the same or similar field. Last year, Forbes explored the major benefits of ‘coopetition’ – turning competitors in your market into possible allies.
At first glance, these partnerships may seem counterintuitive – why would you work with a potential rival? But in the High-Tech sector, where the cost of R&D and the presence of global competition looms large, companies may find opportunities in working with competitors on innovation, product development, and connecting the value chain.
Obviously, these partnerships must be approached with caution – the key lies in finding redundancies and building on them, not sharing business-critical information with a close competitor. However, when chosen selectively, they can yield major benefits for both parties.
This need for collaboration and innovative partnerships isn’t just external. It must cascade down to an organisational level. Companies must reward entrepreneurship and encourage development in new areas within their existing teams – finding new relevant opportunities to connect the dots in the customer experience, both within the organisation and beyond. The barriers between existing teams must be dismantled if a company is to achieve a complete, 360-degree view of the customer. This includes supporting employee passion projects within the business – that niche new idea from a team member could be the missing link that provides a deeper understanding of the customer.
Finally, in order to make these shared partnerships a success, companies must ensure they have a deep understanding of their customer and their needs. This means implementing a complete customer management strategy that captures customer data at every opportunity, and intelligently responds to that data. Customer engagement, user personas, performance monitoring – every factor must be mined for relevant insights. The results may be surprising. Many companies learn the hidden, unexpected factors that weigh into seemingly unrelated decision making – such as a clothing company’s environmental credentials – and must adapt accordingly.
Working with a partner in the same or similar industry, enables companies to harmonise their customer data, and together build a more complete picture of customer needs. Equipped with this data, companies are free to innovate and co-create.
The High-Tech industry stands at a unique time. During a time of major change and disruption, they can adapt and innovate at speed far beyond other industries. Despite the High-Tech industry’s reputation for being insular and protective of their data and resources, a new approach to partnerships, powered by the right data, will accelerate innovation within the industry.
Salesforce is a fully-integrated digital platform that helps companies adopt a more collaborative strategy and access an ecosystem of actionable, cross-channel customer data. Salesforce integrates with external systems and data streams, empowering companies to tap into the full potential of customer data – and data held by partners – to achieve a complete, 360-degree view of the customer.
To learn more about Salesforce in the High-Tech industry, Check out our High Tech Industry Page.