Five Rules for Strategic Partnerships in a Digital World

Nancy Anderson
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Business have always thrived on strategic partnerships, business alliances in which both companies bring something to the table and both profit from the partnership. Making these partnerships work is notoriously tricky. However, the introduction of technology introduces a new layer, one that can make strategic partnerships easier to seek out and negotiate but can also introduce new hurdles unique to the digital world.

The first rule of strategic partnerships is to innovate as part of a partnership whenever possible. Use digital resources to search for the talent and partners necessary to innovate an aspect of your business. Technology makes it easier than ever before to find exactly what you need to make your plans a reality. For example, if you are looking to partner with a technology company that specializes in a certain brand of electronic, use digital resources to find an exact match anywhere in the world.

Another great use for technology in business is facilitating the sharing of data and information. Even companies that keep immaculate records of data don't have a full picture of what customers want. Strategic partnerships can share important information and help create a picture of what customers want, making it easier for both partners to tailor their services to customer needs.

Rather than focus strategic partnerships on the exchange of capital or monetary value, focus on how to improve user experience for potential customers. Keep an eye on the technological advances being made by other countries, and think about how these can be integrated into your own company's products. Many of the best strategic partnerships are focused on combining technology in ways that are not only new, but also useful.

One of the major benefits of using technology to build partnerships is that it makes it easier to customize each business partnership. Taking a one-size-fits-all approach to strategic partnerships is inefficient and could end up costing both your company and your partner more than you want to spend. Instead, focus on developing apps and software kits that allow you to scale your partnerships according to what you want to get out of them. Since software development can be done relatively quickly and cheaply, it represents a low-cost way to customize your partnerships.

Finally, communication and open exchange is essential in strategic partnerships. Treat the partnership the same way you would treat any other aspect of your business, by dedicating appropriate leadership and resources to it. Just building a strong strategic partnership isn't enough; it is also necessary to maintain it for as long as the partnership lasts.

Negotiating business partnerships in the digital world requires those who are used to doing things the old-fashioned way to learn new skills and tricks. However, technology also opens up a world of new opportunities and potential in the world of strategic partnerships that you would be ill-advised to neglect.


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