In today’s fast-paced business landscape, unique challenges and opportunities arise at every corner. One such opportunity? A data-driven transformation that leverages AI to reshape your organisation. But how can you, as C-suite executives, effectively navigate and steer this complex transformation?
You don’t have to do it alone. Strategic partnerships can be a game-changer. In this blog post, we’ll explore the value of these partnerships in your data-driven transformation journey, discuss potential challenges, and demonstrate how a strategic ally can turn these challenges into growth opportunities, and be your co-pilot on the exciting journey ahead!
As a Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Digital Officer or Chief Executive Officer you may be used to focusing on your specific responsibilities, but when it comes to achieving data-driven transformation, the need for cross-functional collaboration becomes paramount. A strategic partner can, just like a trusted co-pilot, provide crucial guidance, expertise, and support. Let’s start with some common challenges you may face along the way.
Overcoming the Roadblocks to Data and AI Integration
Every organisation embarking on the journey to become data-driven and leveraging AI often faces similar roadblocks. Some of these recurring challenges include:
- Juggling a multitude of strategies which leads to an unclear vision
- Lack of clarity regarding the end result, or what “ready,” should look like
- Difficulty securing the right funding and resources for significant impact
- Internal agendas and politics get in the way of progress
- New skills and competencies are hard to find and keep
- There is an inadequate internal capacity to drive change
These common obstacles frequently lead organisations to seek the support of a strategic, long-term partner.
But let’s clear up a common misunderstanding: having a strategic partnership doesn’t mean your organisation stops developing its own capabilities. Quite the opposite – if your learning curve flattens upon initiating a collaboration it’s a clear sign that it’s time for a new approach.
Think of a strategic partnership as your organisation’s success insurance. This means that success is measured in achieving concrete business results and enhancing capabilities within agreed timelines and budgets. Most importantly, it’s about working together to navigate the complexities of data and AI and unlock their full potential for your organisation.
How Strategic Partnership Accelerates Your Data-Driven Transformation
Our clients often say they need a partner in the AI and data driven transformation journey due to the following benefits. Here are a few ways a strategic partnership can propel your transformation:
1. Acquiring Crucial Skill Sets: Building an in-house team with requisite expertise can pose a considerable challenge. With data analytics, AI, and marketing technology skill sets in high demand, finding and retaining top talent becomes difficult. A strategic partner possessing these skills not only provides a competitive edge and accelerates your data-driven initiatives, but also reduces reliance on individual contributors. The result is that you’ll be less dependent on specific individuals, regardless of whether they are in-house or partner resources.
As Viking Line’s CDO said: “We will never be able to recruit, retain and develop all the different kinds of competences required – even being able to assess whether a candidate has the right competence in this domain is almost impossible.
Avaus advises: Do not build strategic partnerships based on your present skill requirements, but on your anticipated business outcomes.
2. Accelerating Your Results: Time is of essence. A strategic partner can bring in best practice methodologies that make your transformation process up to 10x faster, compared to going at it alone with your in-house team. In other words, leveraging best practice methodologies and technical solutions with the help of a strategic partner can speed up your data-driven transformation significantly.
Sometimes you need someone by your side, like Telia Lithuania, when implementing their Martech stack. And sometimes, you simply cannot work with your in-house team, if you are looking for productivity improvement like the Telia Customer Value Management team did.
Avaus advises: Opt for a performance-based collaboration model that incentivizes both business results and swift technical development.
3. Implement Use Cases, systematically: Bringing in a strategic partner brings the benefit of domain-specific expertise that can help devise effective AI use cases within your organisation – be it marketing, sales, legal, HR, or IT. This addresses the pivotal challenge of applying AI in a meaningful business context. While AI development becomes increasingly accessible, the real hurdle lies in unlocking its business value through practical applications. To put it simply, Data and AI is easy, people and processes are hard. The collaboration with a partner, who not only grasps the nuances of your operational function but also the processes you aim to automate with AI, can make a significant impact.
An organization who have understood the importance of systematic use case development is Dustin, who, co-piloted by Avaus, successfully have accelerated their data-driven transformation.
Avaus advises: Develop use cases close to the function, rather than in the AI team or on a “generalist” level.
The Business Case: How Accelerated Learning Leads To Quality Results
The business case for accelerating your progress is clear. On the soft side of things – you will learn faster. In this time of exponential technical development, you can’t keep an eye on all the things happening in this space. With a partner, you will be able to learn faster and stay up to date with what is possible today and likely to be possible tomorrow. Accelerating your learning will also create an organisation more ready to capture the value of any new tools, technologies, algorithms or software updates available out there.
On the “hard” and quantifiable side, scaling up the number of AI applications or “use cases” is the main driver of business results. Why is this? Because the automated use cases generate savings or revenue streams that stack over time. Therefore, the business case for having more resources (people or budget) allocated to accelerate the production of automated use cases is typically positive. Read more about automation levels in our blog 6 steps to scale up your automation level.
Moreover, from a risk perspective, more often than not your inhouse team gets bogged down with other urgent tasks, key players switch roles or leave the company, or technical dependencies slow progress down. With a partnership where the commercial model is tied to achieving certain results (such as automation level, number of use cases, algorithms or similar) produced is a way to de-risk the business case for becoming data/AI driven.
Why you need a strategic partner on your transformation journey: main take-aways
Embarking on your data-driven transformation journey? As C-suite executives, understanding the true value of collaboration and strategic partnerships is the key to your success. When you partner with the right expertise, not only does your organisation pick up the pace of learning, but it also achieves results more rapidly.
At Avaus, we suggest working closely with a partner who can provide expert guidance and hands-on technical support, making the transformation process smoother and the inevitable hiccups faster to get past. This helps ensure your team remains focused on big-picture instead of getting bogged down in day-to-day operations, so you can maximise the benefits of data and AI.
Visit the Avaus Customer page for more stories of successful transformations or listen to our customers share their stories on the Customer Stories playlist on YouTube (more than 20 videos to explore!).