Making a difference in a competitive market. How do you handle this? Many service providers (ISP) do so based on technological advantages, functionalities, and… price. In our opinion, this is still an option today, but in time you will loose out. This ultimately reduces your added value and your margins, even the meaning you have for your customer.
In the world of the online workplace, competition is increasing, and so is the price pressure. Rationalization is taking place, large organizations are buying the smaller service providers, but with little development in technology and solutions. (See also our blog: Marketconsolidation).
Value or Technology?
In the positioning of MPS’s, even of the larger parties, the real value for the customers, or target groups (if any) remains unclear. Speed, scalability, availability are presented as values. But that is no value. We see that as a fact of the current technology. That’s the law of inverse value. If you don’t have it already, what do you offer? Value is mainly focused on your customer. What can they do with that technology? What future developments can he fill in much better with your technology now?
We look at this in a five-stage rocket.
What meaning (to society) do you have?
Often this topic coincides very closely with the ambition of the entrepreneur or entrepreneurs behind the service provider. And the group of customers that have grown up through history plays a part in determining your meaning. Meaning could be that you want healthcare institutions to provide optimal care to their patients or clients as an entrepreneur. Or, on an even higher level, to make the Netherlands healthier.
That’s a meaning, also known as a mission or why, that is socially relevant, that also radiates that you, as an IT supplier, want to get the most out of technology to make “us” healthier.
Making the meaning tangible
It’s one thing to call out an ambition. It’s quite another to realize it. To do this, you must, of course, get under the skin of your customers. But above all, make choices. An ambition often crosses target groups. After all, a healthier Netherlands is not just about healthcare institutions…
Based on these choices, you need to describe the value of the technology that you as a service provider have included in your portfolio (read our article on Portfolio Management here). For example, how can nurses work better with the modern workplace? What does your Microsoft Teams offering add to online conversations with elderly clients? Where does your solution touch improving and simplifying communication with clients and patients? Now, and in the future.
Setting up your value
After this, it is important to set up your organization and portfolio in such a way that you can deliver this value. You have to translate what is going on within your (potential) customer group and what solution your technology offers. Your technology and portfolio design can thus become very focused, and, possibly outside your own comfort zone. Adopt or support specific technology or solutions that offer value in your target group.
Gear your organization to that as well. This can never be done all at once, but start, for example, with industry specialists. Train them or hire them. Get sales who have worked in that industry instead of your competitor.
Carry out your knowledge and vision
If nobody knows your meaning, what your mission is, nobody will contact you about it either. All IT providers do something about marketing, do something about getting their message out even if it’s only a website. For the time being, it is very much focused on the consciously competent buyer. The buyer who knows what he wants, who knows what technological solution he needs.
The other group, the unaware buyers, don’t know. The ones that are looking for value for their company or institution? They are looking for a new method of patient communication. They are curious about where their sector is heading. They are looking for relevant knowledge to hold on to future developments. That’s what you have to propagate, that’s what you have to share. Your knowledge and vision of their sector, of the effects and how they can deal with them from a digital perspective. This will make you of great meaning to this unaware buyer.
Engage in dialogue
Invite the people within your target group for dialogue. To discuss where they are in their development, how they view digitalization and its value. In that conversation, you enter into a discussion about how the apparent complexity of technology does not have to be complicated at all in the eyes of your conversation partner. Show how, for example, communication can happen, even with new technology.
Bring them into the conversation, outline perspective. Make scenarios and sketch examples of ‘end-states’ where they could be in 5 years. And how that, in turn, contributes to your meaning, in our example, how that helps make the Netherlands healthier.
It’s only five steps, and at the same time, not the easiest to take. We help our clients with this, starting with bringing out the ambition, DNA, and meaning for society.
Make meaning; we believe that digitization can simplify society enormously, leaving us with more time for each other and the next disaster, the environment. But… not as digitalization is currently offered.