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January 20, 2021

Micro Business Services - What took you so long?

Wilfried Rijsemus

I get to talk to people a lot these days. In Corona Times people are moving jobs. Forced or voluntarily. I speak to a lot of technical people. They all seem to work on digital transformations. Some are working on business transformation.

Into what?

I’m sure it is my narrow view of the world, but until today I have not heard what a digital transformation ora business transformation needs to yield. There is an underlying tendency to “run from the fire” than to “run to the future.” I know that is a hugely simplified way of looking at the world. There are lots of successful businesses and transformations, and I was not part of that but still. There is this famous Dutch commercial on TV where the chef of a kitchen talks to one of hiscooks and says, “ I am missing something!….Taste?”. You know, something vital that is missing, and this casein the conversation “Into what were you transforming and why?” “Did it work on the other side and are you now ready to make the next jump?” When I look at my track record, then indeed the tech boys were leading the pack. I also know of a famous T-Mobile CEO stating that “If you digitize ashitty process, you have a shitty digitized process.”

Are you done now?

From my interviews and workings,I have this feeling that people cannot afford to say “You are done” or“We are done.” We all know that the reality is that you are never done and should reward those that keep evolving in the transformation as the real transformation is not the act of doing it once but the habit of keep on doing it. Establish transformation as the norm, not as a project.

Headless and Microservices

While most companies have found the Customer Journey Designs and associated technologies like headless designs and microservices, in which many layers of decoupled technology services roll up into a good customer journey, I do not hear that the organizations change, only the technology. Some do of course, like the banks or Spotify, but it is not a logical step to talk about how you organize this technology into such a way that you deliver value without thinking about the organization and financial structure. You are investing in it. How do you know which teams are successful?

Ecosystem Agility and Micro Business Services (TM)

So, the massive opportunity is staring in our face. What if we - analogue to the technical brethren - introduce Micro Business Services. Nuclear elements of Micro Business Units that you can assemble into multiple layers of Ecosystem components and have them service Ecosystem partners in your customer journey inside or outside of your company. Suddenly you can design and modify your Customer Journeys Across the value chains over multiple companies. Suddenly you see if a Micro Business Unit can deliver this service effectively and service other parties in your ecosystem OR that you discover that other parties can do this much better than you, while you still deliver on your customer promise. Suddenly your company is a bunch of effective and efficient Micro Business Units that can keep delivering Business services at scale and agile. If you want to talk about this… we are open to talk. We don’t pretend to have all the answers but, we are convinced that we need to answer the question “What took you so long to change?”

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