Viewpoint, for your business. Value in technology business partnerships.
Commentary by Michael Fegan, Chief Information Officer, SCNB
As a financial services technology executive I am constantly faced with "buy versus build" software and service decisions.
In the past, while I recognized that it's important not to be myopic about these decisions, and always do what's "best" for the business, sometimes an over zealous nature and ego might have resulted in a leaning towards staying in house and "building" rather than looking outside for the solution.
Further, when I did look to an outside company to provide the software or service solution, I thought of the relationship very differently than I do today. My thinking was that I am the paying client and these outside entities were "vendors" or "service providers." Our relationship was based on the simple premise that I was purchasing their product or service, and it was their job to "deliver."
Today, as I am making my way back by plane from a visit with one of the Bank's key technology and service "providers," I realize that my thinking pertaining to "vendor" relationships has changed significantly over the years. I've learned about the importance of many of these relationships and the value they bring to my ability to foster the success of my business. I've learned that the "two-way street" is so much more that "buy" and "deliver."
As a matter of fact, I no longer consider these key outside entities as "vendors" or "service providers." Rather, I think of them as "business partners."
Never before has striking the right balance between "buy versus build" been more important than in today's rapidly changing world of technology. However, when "buying" is the right decision, I recognize that success doesn't come only from choosing the right outside partner, but importantly from cultivating these partnerships and relationships. I note a distinction between "business partners" and "vendors." When it comes to "business partners," success depends on our understanding each other's requirements, meeting each other's expectations, and working together strategically. We both need to be customer focused and to stay abreast of new trends so that ultimately, both partners will grow and succeed together.
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