Keys to Creating a Digital Platform for Your Business
The huge success of Netflix is the result of a brilliant path, but also of the visionary approach of its founder, Reed Hastings. Who led the business of a small – though ingenious – home DVD rental service to become the streaming platform, now most popular today. Needless to say, the Californian company had a complicated path before it became succeed, for during the first years of transition to the Cloud, the digital platforms industry was in an early stage of maturation. With all the difficulties, this typical company showed that even the most modest of businesses could be completely reinvented to grow exponentially. Who would have imagined that delivering discs by messaging could become such an influential force in the world of digital technology and entertainment?
Fortunately, this case is not the only one and there are more and more businesses that succeed by migrating their operations to the digital space, with the help of the infrastructure offered by the Cloud and, in particular, the Managed Cloud. The challenge is to survive the evolution, because, not all entrepreneurs take with genuine seriousness the value of adopting a virtual platform; often there are many problems due to the urgency of achieving results in the short term or simply by a lack of knowledge of the technical aspects.
Define a strategy
It seems an obvious first step, but it is very easy to get ahead of setting goals without even setting the current setting of the company. And it is not only a matter of drawing up a work plan, defining priorities, assigning roles, calculating budgets, and so on; The beginning of a healthy strategy is to see the real needs of the company. After all, there are businesses that require a platform that can scale at a very fast pace – like one with branches in various geographic locations – while others simply seek to expand their presence to the web site to have more efficient local logistics.
Each company has specific needs that go hand in hand with the turn of its business and with the dimensions of its operation. When these characteristics are not taken into account, the choice of services in the cloud may be wrong and, as a result, lead to a waste of resources and time. It is good to have ambitious aspirations for growth, the problem is to set goals that are too high or out of the picture that you have at that time.
Now, planning must go beyond being a starting point. The most common mistake of countless entrepreneurs who fail mid-way, including many with a promising career in Silicon Valley, is to forget that plotting must be a constant during every phase of any project, in order to make adjustments according to the results. Loss of focus is an evil that plagues the business world, one that clouds vision and generates losses. Such a situation stems from mismanagement, but even if inventory, billing, or logistics tasks run smoothly, there is an inherent danger of making mistakes when entering unknown territory. Hence the importance of the following point.
Seek advice from real experts
While the current IT management is driven globally by a steady evolution of ideologies, there is a sickening tendency to curb change in favor of “do not dismiss the experts at the head.” This means that technology specialists, say career engineers or self-educated, convince the employer that they work not to seek advisory services, arguing that an internal team is very capable of creating the digital platform that the company needs.
Usually, this discourse disguises an instinct of job preservation – very justifiable – although being fair there are times when it is an authentic belief of IT department managers that their people can handle the situation. It is possible that the team can overcome the first challenges, but when the transition to the Cloud requires flexible hardware for very changing needs, there is no engineer able to adapt servers at a fast enough pace. This scenario leads to bottlenecks in the processes, which in turn generate a dampening in productivity. Entering unknown territory without a guide inevitably generates some setbacks.
To reach that point is not only illogical, but foolish, especially if there are organizations that specialize in providing advice to companies for the transition to the cloud and that provide infrastructure services to support and boost business growth. Among the most respectable in this area is Rackspace, a company with a long history in the technology industry and the Managed Cloud, whose strength is to provide technical support in a personalized and specific way to the company, in addition to adjusting to the size and size of it. In fact, Rackspace’s philosophy is to serve as if it were part of its customer’s team, since that allows it to genuinely care about every need. The key to a good adviser is precisely to be involved in the processes, to provide ideas for constant growth and to present alternatives to a contingency.
Analyze customer feedback
A maxim of every business is that the customer is always right; however, it is not always easy to know what customers think and even less globalized today that promotes anonymity as a weapon to criticize everything without compassion. Disagreeing constructive comments from offenders can be tricky, and for this purpose Cloud migration is especially useful because there are countless tools that measure people’s satisfaction or their interaction with products and services. This step will only happen until the mobilization of the business begins towards a digital platform – obvious – but it is important to include it in the fundamentals of the project because once it starts to get feedback it is necessary to know where to direct the operation of the company.
Another reason to listen to what people say is that they can provide fresh ideas or new business opportunities. The mentality of customers constantly changes, as well as their needs; while products or services that are not adequately adapted or that take too long to generate changes are left behind by the competition and, in the worst case, lead to the failure of the company that produces them. On the other hand, when an entrepreneur and his team are aware of the panorama and take note of each comment, the business receives a reward translated in greater understanding and the possibility of taking it by a more convenient course.
Experiment in an intelligent way
Almost hand in hand with the Lean Startup concept, a trend has gained popularity among successful entrepreneurs and fast-growing businesses. Failing quickly speeds learning and promotes innovation. Such a mantra is successful, as long as it goes hand in hand with a well-designed strategy to contain the damage. Any company with limited resources will end up in bankruptcy if it fails too many times in a very short time, no matter how optimistic and willing. There are examples of organizations that exhausted their capital for trying too many ideas at the same time, which never materialized properly – partly because of the chosen approach.