Technology is only part of the answer
A couple weeks ago, the DCG team got together in Chicago to have some quality face time to review our mission, core audience, offerings, research agenda, etc. It was an extremely uplifting week together because not only did we really gel as a team, but we realized that we all agree on quite a few things that tend to buck some key industry trends.
Of course, when you’re starting a new industry analyst firm as we are, it’s a beautiful thing to find a team of people who are thought-leaders in their own right, yet who agree on a few key differentiators that allow the group to stand out against a sea of competition. When those differentiators tend to resonate intuitively with the Average Joe, then it’s all the better.
Point of differentiation
Here’s one point of differentiation for DCG: we don’t believe it’s all about the technology. Not so different? I’ll take it a step further: not only is it not all about the technology, it’s mostly not about the technology.
What do I mean? Well, as it relates to a company’s web presence, or its capacity to engage its audience via digital channels, most of its success or failure is based far more on its strategy, content, processes, and approach than on the technical infrastructure. Eric Simonson, a veteran mountaineer, said this well when he provided a similar warning to amateur climbers:
I caution against somehow having the impression there’s something magical about [the tools and technology] available now. You still have to climb the frickin’ mountain.
Keep technology in perspective
Undoubtedly, technology can enable numerous capabilities and propel strategies to new heights. Conversely, it can act as a roadblock and prevent a well-intentioned strategy from getting very far off the ground. Personally, that’s why I got into the analyst business in the first place. But while we acknowledge its importance, we also feel the industry needs a good dose of perspective. And we’d like to help provide it.
A unique approach
So, how are we going to do that? Well, we’ve got some serious plans for some game-changing industry reports, but we’ll provide more information about those in the coming months. For now, we’re putting our philosophy to work in our technology selection services (if our full website were ready, I’d assuredly have linked that last phrase to description of our offering!). In fact, all of our technology selection advisories also include the selection of the professional services team. Why? Because it’s that important.
Whether the proposed services team is a third party integrator / agency, or whether it’s the technology vendor’s in-house professional services team, or even if the proposed implementation will be done by our client’s IT team, we will assess their ability to empathize with our client’s challenges and opportunities, and to enable their strategic direction. Our assessment will encompass their overall “fit”, their technological fluency and history with the product(s), and their capacity to fulfill the other needs of the project, whether they be short-term integration needs or a more broad-based visionary, strategic or creative offering. This is the most oft-overlooked aspect of these projects, and we believe our approach (another missed linking opportunity) will go a long way towards increasing our clients’ success rate.
We’ll be writing about some our other differentiators in future posts, such as not claiming to be unbiased when that’s a huge part of our value (!), but feel free to let us know your thoughts, questions and reactions.
Also, if you need some guidance in your own technology selection project, feel free to get in touch with us here.