The 7 principles for success in the era of services
Throughout modern history there have been six major eras of business. Starting with the industrial revolution, when the modern corporation was born, and accelerating through globalization to the information age. A key hallmark of the information age is the acceleration of everything: product-to-market; time-to-value; differentiated-to-commoditized.
Amidst the accelerating rate of change, a fundamental economic transformation has occurred–the re-alignment of products and services. The latter now represents nearly two thirds of all global economic activity and shows no signs of slowing.
This economic shift represents the beginning of a new era–one where the fundamentals of value creation are anchored in the orchestration of knowledge and delivery of services in pursuit of a measurable outcome.
The Transition from Product to Services
The only constant in business is change, and the ability to adapt and thrive is becoming ever more daunting. Every organization is being forced to grapple with business model shifts that require the prioritization of delivering services in the same way they deliver products or other goods–as an efficient and profitable business.
The transition to services-led business models is a challenge for many due to the lack of purpose-built technology. Efficiently and profitably delivering services requires optimizing the deployment of people’s time and talents while streamlining the activities that divert their focus. Many technologies can improve portions of this problem, but few can manage the holistic whole–from opportunity-to-renewal. The digital maturity of the global services economy stands in the way of true excellence.
A New Approach
A new approach to orchestrating the service journey is becoming clear. An approach that joins together the unique spark of the services economy–the human element–with the efficiency and leverage that modern technology can provide. An approach that is anchored to the customer, connects together the entire opportunity-to-renewal cycle, and is built to ensure services are confidently and profitably delivering the ideal outcomes for customers. An approach that is purpose-built for the Era of Services.
At Certinia we hold seven principles to be true as we build the Services-as-a-Business platform used by some of the most innovative, fastest growing, and forward-thinking companies leading the charge in services excellence.
7 Principles for Success in the Era of Services:
Products are not people, people are not products
Relentless optimization of processes unpopulated by people can deliver stunning economic returns. People, however, are not fungible, nor are they inherently or easily optimizable. Every person has their own unique background, experience, skillset, priorities, and career goals. The uniqueness of each individual is the spark at the center of services businesses. Successful organizations focus on optimizing processes that are repeatable, while quickly bringing together teams with the right skills and experiences to deliver differentiated outcomes.
The “project” is the future
The increasingly services-oriented modern economy is driven not by infinitely-repeated processes churning out unchanging outcomes – but rather by the projects that empower the flexibility and innovation to adapt and evolve quickly and often. The solutions of tomorrow will embrace the support and acceleration of projects over the myopic optimization of rapidly-obsoleting processes.
Automate “work” and prioritize outcomes
Automation that reduces the time, effort, and risk of tasks is valuable, but only insofar as it positively impacts measurable outcomes. Any product feature, packaged service, or delivered experience, in order to be worthwhile, must improve the economics of an outcome: higher revenue, lower cost, or reduced risk.
The customer is the center of the universe
Successful businesses solve the actual needs and desires of customers, who are happy to pay a fair price to measurably improve their current state. Products and services should always, therefore, be built based on the expressed and validated needs of an identified customer audience. Those that are not are unlikely to be satisfactory to buyers, regardless of the skill exhibited by vendors in closing deals.
Customer experience is how providers distinguish themselves
No matter the quality of a service, or the perfection of the outcome of a project, customers’ impression of a provider will always be more powerfully driven by how they were treated. An unrelenting commitment to ensuring positive customer experience is the difference between greatness and mediocrity.
In an unpredictable world, variability breeds opportunity
The modern world, and the people and economies within it, changes at a breakneck pace, with needs, desires, requirements, and expectations in a constant state of transformation. Those who can seize the new opportunities as they arise, while continuing to deliver on commitments, exactly as and when promised, will increase their surface area for success.
Elevate those who elevate others
Some of the most powerful contributions in history have come from unsung heroes, whose work enabled their teams to change the world. Humbly providing the foundations these unseen giants need to achieve even more is a worthy, necessary, and entirely fulfilling purpose. In service, we deliver.