Sell Digital Services, Not Apps Rationalization | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

After coming back from Nasscom and discussing the inflection change coming to the services industry, I’ve observed a lot of service providers preparing for the shift – especially the apps providers. But I see them making a mistake: putting too much emphasis on apps rationalization and rearchitecting.

It’s not that apps rationalization and rearchitecting isn’t happening. But providers are justifying it as a necessary step for digital readiness, advising clients that they need to do this if they are looking into a digital agenda. I know of a few situations where it was necessary, but I believe those instances will be the exception rather than the rule.

Here’s the issue: If you go to market and emphasize apps rationalization and rearchitecting, you’ll likely end up in – at best – an interesting conversation without sufficient sales coming out of it, for the following reasons.

  • First, for the most part, you don’t have to rearchitect the client’s legacy systems to run a digital agenda, at least not with where the digital agenda currently is. You have to interface the apps, too. So you end up making unsubstantiated, incredible claims.
  • Second, in a world where business stakeholders have greater influence, they don’t want to spend their money and time on rearchitecting old functionality; they want new functionality. They are impatient to get to the benefits of changing their customer experience, and they are far less willing to listen to proposals that involve enduring long timeframes. They expect that their digital revolution will happen quickly, but rearchitecture is a long, three- to five-year journey.
  • Third, rearchitecting doesn’t fit in with the CIO’s agenda; CIOs are trying to rebuild their relevance to their business. It also doesn’t play to the business stakeholders’ agenda.

It’s just not what organizations are buying right now, and it will confuse and slow down your sales process. So my advice is to be very careful about pushing apps rationalization and rearchitecting linked to a digital agenda. I’m not saying that customers won’t ask for it, but it’s likely that they’re really asking for just a connection into digital.

A better story might be:“Let’s drive your digital agenda and connect that back to the apps.”

I think a lot of providers are not resonating with their clients and not getting the kind of growth because they are confusing clients on this issue of apps rationalization and rearchitecting. This may change. But this is my belief about where the market is right now. We’ll keep our eye on it.

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