Ask any business professional whether, as they look to 2010, they care more about cutting internal costs or whether they care more about driving new business-focused innovations, and you’re likely to get the response “yes…to both”. In the wake of the 2009 recession, companies are struggling with these sometimes conflicting objectives – on one hand they know that cost cutting and operating efficiently is a mandate. On the other, they must develop new technology –enabled product, service, and business model innovations or they risk falling behind.
For vendors in the B2B technology marketplace, this means balancing the need to communicate the cost-effectiveness of your product or service with messages that stress the business value you provide. I believe that far too many vendors think that only the lowest-cost provider can succeed right now, when proving strategic business value is still a critical priority for all professionals – particularly IT professionals.
For a company that gets it, look to GlobalLogic, the offshore product development firm. Their Vice President Milind Patwardhan recently told me “cutting costs for clients is the ‘table stakes’ right now. The best technology companies focus on reducing costs, but also seek to partner with clients to enable business results.” While many vendors talk this talk, one of their client references confirmed the value: He told me that GlobalLogic worked with business executives on strategic planning, was willing to take on risks in order to strengthen the relationship, and proactively looked for ways to create innovation.
Yes, cutting costs was a key reason they started working with GlobalLogic, but the commitment to the business relationship has been what made it work. Those are capabilities that low-cost providers won’t be able to replicate any time soon. And if you’re getting ready for 2010, rememeber that cost-cutting mandates within client organizations are only part of the story.