If we take a look into the past, many companies have relied on their core competencies. Products were standardized and optimized, usually to cut the costs of production. The same applies to market prices: IT systems simply have to become cheaper. But instead of focusing on change (what new things and innovations are available on the market place?), the costs tended to be cut precisely in this area – and the market does not respect tradition. The core business of Kodak, for instance, was selling photographic paper. A mobile telephone with a camera – who needs a Frankenstein like that? Or another example: Microsoft. At a time when licenses for Windows and Office accounted for the lion’s share of revenue, a small project called Windows Azure was quietly launched. Now, Windows and Office are no longer as interesting as they used to be. In contrast, Azure, as a cloud computing platform, is currently one of Microsoft’s most important developments – and everything seems to suggest that this will be the future of technology. There are many more examples like these ones – and they show clearly that companies need to adapt to the market if they want to progress.
Change is difficult, tiring and expensive. But it is reasonable to ask whether customers can survive change if they neglect to embrace it. It follows, therefore, that not only must we be open to change, we also need to advise our customers, offer them a helping hand and accompany them along the way. This is, after all, the only way to truly be on the side of our customers.