Recruiting, Technology

How Digital Ecosystems Help Businesses Navigate the Tech Talent Crunch 

Tech talent shortages are top of mind for businesses worldwide as demand for cloud computing, IT skills, and artificial intelligence grows. According to research by digital infrastructure company Equinix, 62% of global decision-makers surveyed said a shortage of IT talent threatened their business success. In an interview with Forbes, one CEO called the tech talent shortage an “existential threat to businesses around the world.”

How can organizations adapt and fill gaps in technology amid an ongoing tech talent crunch? The solution: digital ecosystems.

Digital ecosystems provide a platform for collaboration, innovation, and shared resources and expertise. Organizations that leverage their partners in digital ecosystems are in a better position to meet their digital needs faster and more efficiently. 

Each Business Brings Something to the Table

Digital ecosystems are worth more than the sum of their parts, offering combined value to the businesses involved. It’s a partnership of interconnected players fulfilling a variety of different needs in the digital marketplace. You can offer your customers more products from other companies, and you can sell your services in another company’s digital marketplace. This kind of network of partners gives organizations the opportunity to broaden their reach with new products and services while growing their core business.

Small to midsize businesses can take advantage of the expertise of more experienced partners, while large organizations can benefit from collaborating with digitally innovative start-ups. Because there are many companies involved in building this digital commerce model, they’re connected to a robust supply chain and can operate with a higher risk tolerance

Salesforce, for example, is a large enterprise that uses a broad network of partners and independent software vendors (ISVs). Research by IDC forecasts that the use of Salesforce’s cloud services and its digital ecosystem will create new revenues for customers that will add up to $1.56 trillion worldwide by 2026.

According to the report, this revenue could result in more than 9 million new jobs. IDC also estimates that by 2026, for every dollar Salesforce makes, its digital ecosystem is expected to make $6.19.

Cherry-Pick Digital Services  

You can leverage technology from another company such as cloud computing, data storage, or cybersecurity. Digital service providers (DSPs) are companies that provide online services to their customers. With a DSP in your ecosystem, you don’t need in-house experts. Outsourcing IT support, for instance, helps you scale the market faster because IT isn’t your core business.

To make these partnerships work effectively, you need support. Cultivating a digital ecosystem on your own could potentially drain in-house resources and be too complex to maintain. With a cloud platform provider, you can expand your portfolio and take advantage of a vast network of leading brands, resellers, and potential customers. Working with a cloud platform provider helps you automate the billing and management of the services and products you want to offer. Users are freed from having to download updates because it’s done automatically behind the scenes, and services can be accessed through any device with an Internet connection. 

Building Customer Loyalty

Digital ecosystems enable businesses to offer many products and services that individual companies can’t provide on their own. The customer journey is simplified because one company can supply a variety of consumer needs that can be tailored to each individual customer. 

The more solutions tied to your company, the more opportunity you have for customer engagement. For example, telcos as DSPs can provide cellphone service, along with a subscription to Microsoft 365 and streaming services, all in one bill. This type of convenience and simplicity increases customer retention. Along with providing a source of recurring revenue, subscription or pay-per-use models also give organizations the time to know their customers better, proactively solve challenges, and anticipate future needs.

Staying Nimble with a Little Help from Your Partners

A growing number of companies are upskilling existing staff to address the tech talent shortage. But upskilling alone isn’t enough to help you with your digital transformation, which is why an ecosystem is so important.

Technological resources exist in other businesses or potential partners that you can leverage to grow your business without having to rely on managing, building, or upskilling your own staff. Partners in a digital ecosystem can turn to each other to meet rapidly changing consumer demand, and in turbulent economic times, having access to a pool of resources can help you adapt quickly, reducing risk to your business. 

According to McKinsey, digital ecosystems could generate an estimated 30% of global corporate revenue by 2025. Companies that lean into their digital ecosystems are in a better position to remain agile and can benefit from a more robust supply chain. Businesses can turn to their partnerships to help fill technology gaps, expand their portfolios, and improve customer engagement. Amid the ongoing tech talent shortage, it’s essential that organizations collaborate and innovate with their network of partners.

Jess Warrington is General Manager, North America at CloudBlue.

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