In the current regrouping phase of the Internet economy, a successful relationship between service companies and their clients will take the form of "three Is": interaction, impact and intimacy.
A three-Is approach uses computer and Internet technologies as a means to build on the inner and outer strengths of a company. That kind of careful company building will be especially useful during the current uncertain interim of the New Economy.
Recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the economic surge of recent years has resulted not from the widespread use of computers, but instead from the manufacture of computers and computer-related devices. In other words, we dont yet have a New Economy.
Only now are brick-and-mortar companies discovering ways to use the Net as an adjunct in promoting their already-proven products and services. And its here that the three-Is approach has the potential to make a sizeable contribution.
Interaction: Self-aware service companies will no longer simply do a job for a client and leave. Theyll become more active in identifying with their customers and then in opening doors for them. Along with their depth of technical expertise, service companies have the particular ability to work with their clients in forging cross-industry partnerships that can provide strategic advantages.
Impact: In assisting their customers conversion to digital methods, the service companies can have a major impact on the bottom lines of those companies.
Intimacy: This is the ability to build trust with ones customers and also to assist them in forging stronger relationships with their customers.
Interaction, impact and intimacy. That form of partnering is fundamental to creating the kinds of sturdy and productive alliances that will be the pull-through to a New Economy.
Cathy Benko (pictured, email@example.com) is e-business practice leader for Deloitte Consulting. Zack Rinat (zrinat@modeln. com) who contributed to this column, is founder and CEO of Model N Inc.