07 June 2019

The L(IT) Trinity of Reliable Business Partnerships: Capability, Agility, & Trust

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Written by Anish BetawadkarCo-Authored with Dr. Preetam Tiwari

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Ryan Holmes, CEO, Hootsuite

It’s no secret that the Technology industry is increasingly becoming home to a majority of commoditized products and services. All in all, the “niche” a business ends up carving for itself may turn out to be extremely short-lived, courtesy innovative competitors emerging on the tech horizon every single day.

So then, what acts as a key differentiator for businesses – large and small alike? The answer is simply yet often ignored: engaging with a reliable business partner. If experience and expertise are anything to go by, it is generally seen that working with partners is inevitable to ensure unmatched speed and unparalleled capabilities which can set you apart from the competition.

But how do you gauge whether you have a reliable business partner? We suggest you look for three key factors that are raising the technology playing-field level, while ensuring you leverage the benefits of having a partner who truly understands your business and organizational goals.

First-and-foremost comes “Capability.” Along with capability, the next key factor that ensures commitment to the goal is “Agility.” The last missing piece that completes the puzzle is “Trust” that ensures that the spirit of partnership is shared. These three come together to form a reliable partnership that delivers value and adds “synergistic momentum” to any business partnership.

1. Get Ahead with Cutting-Edge “Capabilities”

The importance of engaging with a “competent” partner cannot be stated enough. Case in point: In 2011, the 50-year long Shell-LEGO partnership came to an end. Why? Because consumers began raising a pertinent question – “What does one of the world’s biggest oil production companies (engaging in questionable environmental standards) have to do with one of the world’s biggest and most loved TOY brands?.” As you may have guessed, the partnership was dissolved after much public out-cry.

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Even in the technological world, engaging with a partner with the right capability can ensure:

  • Personal and professional growth-oriented development
  • Innovative-driven lateral thinking among team members
  • Create an atmosphere of embracing “disruption”
  • Help ace the balancing act between “skill” and “knowledge”

The biggest learning: Getting into partnership with a company that has “misplaced” capabilities can cost you dearly – quite literally!

2. “Agility”: The Only Edge You Need

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Agility and Usain Bolt have nearly become synonymous words. Despite his right leg being half an-inch shorter than his left, he is the fastest sprinter in the history of the sport. But how does this knowledge translate into the tech world? Just like how uneven strides cannot slow a runner down, embracing agile methodological and an agile team has far-reaching benefits no matter the size of your company.

Every business starting out today requires a Leadership team that isn’t working out of an “echo chamber” and comes with a variety of skills, experiences, and perspectives. This can be leveraged by partnering with companies that are industry-leaders in their own right. This industry leader ends up becoming a reliable business partner. The combined expertise leads to successful, diverse, and most importantly, an agile way of doing business.

And we all know that embracing agile methodological and an agile team has far-reaching benefits no matter the size of your company. These include but are not limited to:

  • Quick response to dynamic changes – structural, technical, cultural or otherwise
  • Enhanced performance – that too, at lower costs
  • Increased efficiency and turn-around time for project deliveries
  • Instant access to valuable data
  • Staying ahead of competition by introducing new features, products, services at a nauseating frequency – much like the tech giant, Apple

The verdict: Integrating agility in your company’s stride can steer it towards unprecedented growth – every organization’s ultimate goal, right?

3. “Trust”: The Two-Way Street

Trust in business partnerships mean three things: unambiguous, unreserved, and unequivocal. The failed partnership between Facebook Co-Founders Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin comes to mind.

Their partnership first frayed because of a “cultural divide,” then came financial differences, and finally, there was a complete fall-out on “trust-related issues”. Research suggests a similar picture. Statistics show that up to 70 percent of business partnerships ultimately fail – and lack of trust is a big contributor. Plus, Salesforce’s recent survey, “Small to Midsize Business (SMB) Trends Report” reveals that trust is of primary importance in all business relationships – be it with customers, employees or partners.

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The respondents also stated that trust acted as a key advantage and marketing tool small businesses tend to enjoy over their larger, global competitors as they can communicate with all the stakeholders more easily. All in all, it goes without saying that a lack of trust ultimately leads to financial distress, unequal division of work and commitment standards, dishonest communication, and finally greater exposure to illegal/unethical business practices for one and all.

So next time you’re looking for a reliable business partner with whom you can forge a long-lasting partnership, you know what to look for. If you have any more queries, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected]

Want to explore this topic further? Read our How-to guide on finding the right technology partners in the generalist market.