Every major provider thinks they’re the tip of the spear with respect to digital transformation. All providers (product or service) have similar – high level – stories about the importance of digital transformation to their customers. But since every customer only devotes about 36% of their attention to any given provider during a buying process, and since buying teams – which can range to over a dozen people – split their time among a variety of projects, providers that can’t differentiate their “digital” stories will be ignored. This means that providers must specify and deliver any digital business/transformation and “disruptive” marketing and sales efforts in the context of their buyers and users, which include: vertical industry relevance, propensity for risk taking, desire to innovate, intent to disrupt and value proposition-to-delivery statements (and increasingly, metrics). They must relate their digitally transformative capabilities and differentiators directly to contextually relevant issues and areas within their buyers’ organizations. This also indicates that providers must offer thought leadership with respect to their disciplines. For a single technology provider, this may be straightforward; for the multi-faceted provider, it’s more complex given the variety in their portfolio.
Ultimately, the burden on providers becomes not just the divining and creation of contextual information relative to its products and services, but also the enablement of its direct and indirect sellers, both of which will be augmented (and in some cases, obviated) by increasingly powerful cloud marketplaces. The increased relevance and importance of these marketplaces goes hand-in-hand with the increased importance and presence of cloud platform providers within enterprises. While smart providers will adapt sales efforts to encompass this increasingly important environment, “enabling” those marketplaces will entail not only the facets described above, but will also include: automated lead generation/management (multi-tier), custom pricing/procurement environments, dedicated trial/PoC capabilities and links to support systems. Thus, “digital transformation” for the market as a whole means an increasingly frictionless path – across the customer lifecycle – from provider to customer.
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