Digital Transformation at Scale: The Secret Sauce to Strategic Partnerships


Creating the best framework for digital transformation has been a hot topic on the minds of CIOs and business leaders in 2018. As the saying goes: “If you want to run faster, run alone; If you want to run far, run together.” In the rapidly changing world of technology, if one must run far (a.k.a. scale), then one possible avenue to do so is to build an ecosystem of efficient and strategic partnerships.

In my personal experience, business development and managing strategic alliances with major technology product companies and global systems integrators can make or break your go-to-market success. But having a solid digital transformation strategy in place greatly increases your probability of success in delivering value to customers much faster.

Furthermore, these partnerships present untapped opportunities of business expansion spreading out to newer territories where one wouldn’t have thought of venturing to do business at the first place.

Referencing MIT Sloan’s Management Review, there are three main types of strategic alliances:  arm’s-length, collaborative and joint-venture alliances.

  1. Arm’s-length alliances involve an agreement to provide, sell or exchange a service. Companies might share information or license rights to a product, but arm’s-length partners do not jointly develop, integrate or recombine their processes or capabilities. Click Here for an example of Arm’s-length alliance partner.
  2. Collaborative alliances involve the sharing of company-specific or tacit knowledge, such as in joint design or development, or recombining products and services. Click Here for an example of Collaborative alliance partnership.
  3. Joint ventures share features of both arm’s-length and collaborative alliances. They resemble collaborative alliances in that they involve bilateral investments in capital, technology and company-specific assets. Click Here for an example of Joint ventures.

The bottom line is: each partner in the ecosystem can majorly contribute to delivering value faster, better and cheaper. Irrespective of the category of partnership, the key is to maintain trusted level of transparency and spirit of partnership at various levels/stages to ensure a win-win sustainable journey.

I recently attended the MIT Sloan Symposium, where IT leaders came together to share successes, failures and strategies for making digital transformation a reality. What we concluded was, in order to reach the next phase of digital transformation – like incorporating Artificial Intelligence into development processes or finding practical uses for blockchain in business operations – digital leaders must collaborate and work together.

So, what side are you on?

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Filed in: IT Leadership
Guru Venkatachalam
Guru Venkatachalam Director
Guru is an expert in bringing Software Intelligence-based solutions to market, specializing in key partnerships for CAST.
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