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Talk to me about digital innovation partnerships

By Amy, Eastpoint Software on 22 March 2019

This blog is about the practical application of being a digital innovation partner.  

At Eastpoint, we work with businesses who are successful in their field and now have the same ambition with digital innovation. It’s exhilarating for us to be involved in the process of creating high-growth digital products. 

Whoever you work with, a digital innovation partner should feel like a new team in your company. They are your colleagues, all pulling in the same direction, with your success at the heart of what they do. 

Facilitating digital transition and growth to make our clients competitive – we live for it! 

What does a digital innovation partner do? 

Companies seeking digital innovation often require this kind of support:  

- Create, launch, support, review and adapt a pioneering digital product 
- Supplement or transform an existing digital product 
- Identify where digital innovation can make a positive contribution 
- A thoughtful response to innovative competitors 
- Transition to digital first 

Why outsource digital innovation? 

Let’s assume you’re already sold on why you would innovate and concentrate instead on why you would partner with an external digital consultancy to achieve it. 

For the expertise 

We are a digital consultancy set up entirely to use technology to your advantage. 

To maintain focus on profitable operations 

You might be too busy working on established products that are working for you right now and need someone else to focus on digital innovation. 

To get there quicker 

A hurdle to innovation in any company, regardless of your innovation strategy, is how it fits with your current structure, workforce and processes. 

Perhaps there is no communication pipeline for novel or disruptive ideas despite good intentions, and you need external support to facilitate the change. 

Cost, risk and culture 

Acquiring existing successful innovative products or recruiting an internal innovation team are costly and long term options. 

Every company wants to maximise ROI, minimise risk and give their investment the best chance of succeeding. Working with a digital innovation consultancy that has tried and tested processes already in place, and a culture that supports innovation from the outset, increases those odds. 

Transition 

It might also be that you want to outsource digital innovation before making longer term investments in either of the above options. 

What’s involved? 

Collaboration 

In most situations, we are unlikely to have as deep domain knowledge as our client. You may find a specialist innovation partner who has an equal or greater knowledge of your sector, but we believe that it’s not always necessary to have existing in-depth knowledge in order to be a digital partner.  

This means that you bring your industry knowledge and understanding of customer behaviour, and we listen and respond. Digital partnership is exactly that – a partnership and collaboration of knowledge and expertise from both sides. 

Creativity 

As well as bringing domain knowledge there is no reason that a client wouldn’t also bring innovation ideas. Outsourcing digital innovation doesn’t mean you lack creativity, in fact digital partners are often well placed to ignite what is already there. 

Workshops, sprints and prototypes 

It’s likely that an innovation partner will take you through some kind of product design sprint or workshop. You may create an MVP (minimum viable product) or a basic prototype. 

We’ve workshopped product specifications with companies and ended up pursuing something different purely through asking questions. The answers were already there but a partnership was needed to unravel the knowledge and understand how it could be applied. 

Innovation requires a creative and purposeful environment backed up with excellent knowledge of how to make technology work for you. 

Trust 

Along with collaboration and communication comes trust. We want you to succeed.  

Experimentation 

Workshops, prototypes, agile working, user feedback and rolling with the punches. Don’t be afraid to fail. Experimentation may be required and you may not see immediate gains. 

When is the time to partner? 

Whenever you are ready. Deciding that you want (and need) to innovate is the first step – it’s unlikely you’ll want to spend money on something you don’t believe in and this will likely hinder the process.  

Next, you need to be ready to communicate, collaborate and build trust with your digital innovation partner. Digital innovation is an exciting chapter and one that should be embraced and used to its full potential. 

If you’re considering digital innovation talk to Eastpoint. Our office number is 01223 690164, email us at info@eastpoint.co.uk or pick our brains on live chat.