You’ve recognised the value of your digital platform to your business. You’ve gone through the pitching process, you’ve found an SI and got sign off on the budget. The future is looking bright! Everyone’s held up their end of the contract, and the big day is finally here! Your shiny new platform is live and you’ve rarely felt prouder (don’t tell the kids).
But fast forward six months; there doesn’t seem to be a commensurate uplift in online revenue and the Board are breathing down your neck waiting for an explanation – those heady launch days suddenly seem an age ago. So, it’s time to ask the big questions: Is the platform doing what you were promised it would? Are the people you’re working with good enough? Fundamentally, is the new platform delivering enough revenue to make good on your investment?
Make sure your SI is empowering you to grow your business
The thing is, the new platform was just the start. Imagine your new platform as an F1 car. Have you just been given the key, and no further instructions? Find yourself staring at it forlornly in the garage, unable to get it started? Finally work out how to get the damn thing going and you wrap it round its first bend and destroy it. Having the car itself is great, but it needs a good mechanic. It’s probably better to start your F1 racing days with someone who can not only build and customise your car, but also train you how to drive it.
Just as becoming a F1 podium winner is not a one-stop journey (sadly), it’s not simply about plugging in the platform – you need to make sure that you’re growing fast enough based on your investment. And in order to ensure this, you need to be continually building and investing. For which, you need a partner. A partner in the realest sense, in that they are someone who can go along this journey with you. Platforms are brilliant and can do a lot of things, but they need to be properly implemented and maintained. Platforms deliver products, partners deliver service.
What does ‘good’ partner service look like?
Service is a little bit like the Supreme Court’s ruling on obscenity: “I know it when I see it”. But a good place to start thinking about your partner is by thinking about yourself. You need to think about what works for you, and your particular business. If your business didn’t need an individualised platform, then every business site would look the same. Which, as we know, isn’t the case.
Your SI should be empowering you to grow – and not just in the technical sense. They ought to be providing ideas and support on the other options and services that can be built, in order to maximise your profit, and become your partner in true digital growth. A mixed team here is invaluable – your business has equal need of both engineers, digital marketers, content management, bloggers, SEO experts and someone in charge of your customer acquisition strategy. A true partner does more than simply plugging wire A into slot B. They are invested in your business and its success.
If you’re not seeing the growth you expected from your investment, we’re happy to offer expert, commitment-free advice.