An interesting question was haunting my mind since some time. Why does Community matter to a services firm ? In this case, it refers to thousands of IT Services firm all around India and elsewhere. A community makes sense to a Product firm. It allows engaging the end customers, developers and solution providers to drive the eco-system. Whats in here for a Services firm ?
My 5+ year stint in IT Services firm has helped me discover interesting answers for this question. No organization works in silo, and an investment in community opens up great opportunity. The following are some of the points that come to my mind :-
Finding the best talent does not always require sneaking the job portals or social networks. The old paradigm of Job advertisements does not entirely work. An investment in community by the firm allows it to be able to scout talents that they cannot find with the usual ways. The community attracts people who are inquisitive in nature and seeking to learn from every opportunity that they can get. An IT service firm requires people who exhibit the same behavior. Driving community gives a chance for the recruitment team of the firm to be able to meet these individuals and initiate the conversations with them.
Like Product firms, IT services too require a brand recall that impacts customers, media and technology community. An IT firm with a strong brand image is a great marketing vehicle in itself. A community opens up the opportunity for the organization to build a great brand around itself. The community also allows external people to be the spokesperson for the organization. It enhances brand awareness and value.
Interaction allows exchange of ideas. Ideas to innovate, engage and create impact. An IT service firm can use the community to engage in dialog. It provides a way to assess and discover what people external to the company are thinking about. A perfect gold mine to discover trends in technology adoption. The community also allows the employees of the organization to learn best practices and apply it to the business.
A strong culture of an organization has its root in how its employees help each other. This attitude is the core foundation of a community. To make better employees and culture, it is mandatory for the company to have the spirit of helping each other in its core DNA. A community involvement will provide the employees of the organization the chance to polish this aspect of professional behavior. Thereby, creating better culture inside.
5. Pre-Sales and Partnerships
An important aspect for the IT services firm is to also look for opportunities for pre-sales and scout for partnership. Its evident everywhere - Great partnerships are not formed on golf courses or elaborate lunch meetings, its formed in small informal interactions. A community gives a chance to people of specific interests to come together. This provides a perfect ground for informal discussion, leading to a possible opportunity or a chance to work together.
There are plenty of other points that can be added to the above list. The five mentioned comes immediately to me. Lastly, a community gives a chance to the firm involved to give back to the society and create a long lasting value that cannot be bought or sold.