Forbes: Crisis as a New Lens For Ecosystems

By Mark Geene in API Industry Trends Posted Jun 30, 2020

My latest article for Forbes isn’t one that I expected to ever have to write when I joined the Forbes Tech Council. 

Instead, we are globally dealing with physical, financial, mental, and emotional difficulties as we navigate the fluctuations of the Covid crisis. We’ve been inspired by frontline healthcare workers’ courage and found new gratitude for grocery and delivery workers who keep showing up in spite of the personal risks and uncertainty. As business leaders, we still face lots of uncertainty for our firms and our employees. 

digital ecosystems in times of crisis

My article goes deeper with examples, but for digital product and engineering leaders thinking about how to move forward, I have three recommendations:

    1. Cut nonessential costs and consolidate resources - It’s one thing to cut a budget by X%, but more importantly, reevaluating the full cost of ongoing projects is critical. How much are you actually spending on that shiny new software (both in employee time and capital)? Is everything inflight still critical to current business and developing a competitive advantage? Take anything outside of these categories off the burner for now and lend your resources to essential initiatives.
    2. Aim toward more automation and quick wins while delaying high-risk projects and deals - Many companies have had to reevaluate the way they do business - from insistence on “wet signatures” to the time invested in manual processes. With this, companies are pivoting toward more automation to 1) improve user experience (and reduce churn), and 2) improve productivity via simplified processes.
    3. Reinforce strategic initiatives to help “accelerate through the turn” and come through ahead when the economy begins to normalize - Many of the leaders I’ve talked to are analyzing ways to enable digital transformation and a truly user-centered experience for their customers. For many, it’s “innovate or be left behind,” as competitors also rush to differentiate and fill pressing customer needs in the best way possible.

Discover how other companies are building their businesses despite the lagging economy, and which strategic investments are critical to continual growth in the full article.