Have you ever rented a car, and then went to the shop and got yourself a new car stereo, fancy alloy wheels, and a new coat of paint? Most likely you wouldn't consider such a thing. You would not even put the rental car through the car-wash. Topping up the fuel, but that is about as far as it goes. In similar fashion, you would not go out of your way redecorating your hotel room. So why would you treat your cloud software any different? Are you going to spend a lot of time and effort in customising the applications you just rented? Most companies do, not because it is a wise investment, but because there is no alternative.
Why do we customise our commoditised software?
There are many reasons you should not invest large sums in customising something you rent. Yet there are still many reasons why you have to. It is business software, and the purpose is to make your organisation run more efficient because of it. Even configuration and training can be a significant investment. With the previous analogy - the hotel room comes with flat-pack furniture that you need to install. In order to get a good nights rest, you have to read the instructions, and assemble the various pieces. Sounds silly, but from a business applications point of view, this is run-of-the-mill.
And when you finally have everything installed and configured the way you want it - nobody dares to touch it. The (often expensive) consultants have left your premises (as they tend to do if there are no more invoices to send), and you make best use of the software. However, there are improvement points identified - yet no more budget to deliver these, so you hang on in there. And then your business evolves... Unfortunately, in this model, your business applications rarely evolve with it.
A team by subscription
To get your digital business shaped they way you need it, and running optimally, you actually need a team of people. It doesn't matter whether you are a Solopreneur, or an established business with multiple department - a digital business is a multi-disciplinary process consisting of:
- Core IT - such as email, cloud infrastructure, security and identity management.
- Application configuration and maintenance - such as implementation of accounting or CRM software
- Service execution - creating and sending email campaigns, processing payroll, accounting and bookkeeping services
- Strategy - aligning your digital business to your strategic marketing and business goals