Prior to COVID-19, headlines abounded informing us that artificial intelligence, blockchain and virtual reality will play larger roles in our lives. What was not being widely reported then was the precarious status that much of big business found itself in due to such disruption and the lack of innovation funding. It was no secret then and even more so now that businesses are under immense pressure to be more agile and engaged.
According to a study from McKinsey & Co., larger firms that do not invest enough in innovation face dire consequences. The study provided examples found in fintech, where traditional banks are struggling to match new technologies through either their own efforts or acquisition.
McKinsey & Co. found banks typically allocate only 35% of their IT budgets to innovation, compared to fintech firms which spend 70%, underscoring the competitive edge the smaller firms have for discovering breakthroughs and streamlining processes. This example extends beyond banking to any industry where bigger players have neglected the customer experience and improvement through innovation.
To succeed under a new reality and move forward with growth, business professionals from large and small firms will need to broaden their outreach. Many, due to their sheer size, had lost ground because they lacked the capabilities to meet growing customer expectations, having failed to leverage and reward their ecosystems.
Leveraging the Business Ecosystem with “EI”
To accelerate growth and find new opportunities after COVID-19, companies of all sizes must focus on their entire “ecosystem.” In this context, an “ecosystem” is the entirety of people involved with a business, from partners to prospects, customers, and vendors. So, everyone from a firm’s accountant and lawyer to their strategic partner and list of top 100 customers are all part of a group that deserves attention and interconnected engagement.
A new platform squarely focused on ecosystem investing is DealRockit. The company has been referred to as “LinkedIn on steroids,” a platform for connections designed to create virtuous cycles for businesses of any size. As an example of the platform’s mechanics, consider the SaaS market, specifically companies that sell software into the professional services markets.
A SaaS firm offering a platform to law firms, accountants, and similar entities could greatly expand its business reach by connecting with its entire ecosystem. Insurance carriers, financial institutions, and other larger entities can easily do the same. They could utilize DealRockit to invite their prospects, customers, partners, and other related people into a single space, to spur new deals and broader connections — creating a virtuous cycle where everyone wins.
Ecosystem investing (EI) is exclusive to DealRockit and based on the premise that the best way to counter disruption and grow is to begin with the constituency directly in front of you: your ecosystem. That means starting with your offices, teams, professionals, referral partners, prospects, customers, and clients and move forward from there.
EI revolutionizes how firms and enterprises leverage their ecosystem to ROCKiT business growth and inclusion. It’s fast and does all the hard work for you, making firms and the businesses/clients they invite more transactional, aligned, and engaged. EI is a comprehensive customer engagement, business development solution that combines the best of innovative technology with human experience, allowing firms to offer free products with far reaching capabilities and benefits to invited clients, prospects, and business/referral partners. These are the must haves to monetize scale, unlock innovation and put a unique stamp on stakeholder value and experience.
DealRockit and other platforms that encourage broader collaboration work well because they combine smooth technological and critical human elements together. After the pandemic wanes, this type of connectivity will prove essential for big and small business players alike, as firms strive for revenue while also pushing to become forces for good.
The Way Forward
The pressure on big businesses to better serve clients and move up the value chain is palpable. Their inability to innovate enough internally and elevate customer value is a major problem with no solution in sight — until ecosystem investing.
No doubt firms must focus on costs and how these critical factors tie to better customer experience and lost margin. However, not coming up with new growth and innovation strategies or developing external partnerships that focus on stakeholder value is a recipe for near certain failure.
In the current economy, all of us — individuals and businesses alike — are looking for a new way forward, a solution to the challenges of the current crisis. Perhaps the silver lining to this crisis will be the “big guy”/” little guy” collaboration model using DealRockit’s EI. Like what Match.com famously did for dating, connecting and integration, big players, too, can do by being at the forefront of a global movement that transforms and grows their business and helps solve the greatest crisis of a generation.
Moving past COVID-19 requires new ways of thinking. Not just about the impacts of social distancing and virtual services but shifting the ways businesses interact with each other. Achieving growth and prosperity during this time will require large and small firms to invest in their ecosystems together. If they succeed, they’ll pull economies back from disaster and open new avenues for unprecedented innovation and human success.
Hopefully, we can all agree that it’s time to reach for the stars — not unlike the Manhattan Project or the Space Race — and do something big for your ecosystem … and your organization.
Albert Einstein said: “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” That statement has never been truer than today.