Should partners specialise or diversify vertical markets?

Should partners specialise or diversify vertical markets?

Rendtech Associates and Thomas Peer Solutions weigh up strategy pros and cons

Thomas Peer Solutions CEO, Udara Dharmadasa

Thomas Peer Solutions CEO, Udara Dharmadasa

For mobility in particular - one of Thomas Peer’s key technology offerings - Dharmadasa said he has deployed solutions in schools, manufacturing, healthcare and airlines.

“If you think about it collectively, there is one common thing that those industries have and that is to mobilise their usage and provide agility to their customers. The common denominator is the actual technology, rather than the industry. They all have the same need which is getting their customers the application that is necessary for them to consume their products.”

Highly aware of the unprecedented pace of the technology sector, Dharmadasa admitted that keeping up with a relevant set of disruptive solutions is certainly a challenge.

“If you don’t keep up with it all, then your market-share will diminish tomorrow if you don’t think about it today. What my advice is to CIOs and IT managers, is that if you don’t keep with the latest trends and technologies, you will lose your business. The business that will survive, is the one that is deploying the disruptor,” he said.

To keep on top of the game, Dharmadasa said he attends many trade shows and industry forums happening every few months across Asia Pacific for opportunities to discover trends across the region.

“If things are happening in Asia Pacific, normally it trickles down to Australia three months later. And if we’re not the ones taking this new technology and disruption to Australia, then somebody else will.”

In classifying his business as “progressive” and drawing comparisons to infamous disruptive stories by the likes of Uber and Airbnb, Dharmadasa’s strategy certainly aims to epitomise the archetype of the modern tech company. That is, one that is on top of the industry game with presence across multiple verticals.

However, on the flip side of the strategy sits managed service provider, Rendtech Associates, a company proving that there is a different type of value to be had from championing just one industry.

“When we specialise in an industry it’s a bit like doing your PhD,” explained founder and CEO, Rob Khamas. “It’s not so much about the money, it’s more about how well you think you can go and how much change we can make.

“When you specialise in an industry, you’re an influencer. If you provide services that cross so many industries, you are a solution-provider, but how much influence can you really hold across industry? That is a choice you make. There is no right or wrong way about it, it just comes down to what you want to achieve at the end,” he said.

Whilst intrinsic value can be drawn from specialisation, additionally for Khamas, digging deep into the healthcare sector certainly offers a wealth of opportunity.

The industry is set to retain its crown as the fastest-growing industry sector, according to Gartner, with five-year CAGR of 5.7 per cent over 2015-2020, while banking, media, and professional services are expected to, as a group, experience a CAGR of around 4.9 per cent for the period, to more than $US475 billion in 2020.

Contrasting to the solution-centric approach, Khamas explained over the last five years to the next 15 years that healthcare’s technology is “the hottest industry” to go into it because it is protected from disruption.

“We get in here and basically our futures are sort of set. Our future as a company and our specialised skill-set is protected,” he explained.

“But, I don’t know many companies that specialise to be honest. Most of the time, they will run their strategy the other way where they work across all industries. However, I think that most of the time, they end up specialising in one anyway. For example, they might find they make much more money with government and then it becomes a strategic decision to narrow down verticals.”

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Tags GartnerHealthcareverticalsRendtech AssociatesThomas Peer Solutions


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