The world of digital can be a veritable minefield, especially when your company is trying to keep up with all those trendy start-ups who seem to be nibbling away at your business with those bright ideas and agile innovative thinking.

Legacy systems in organisation can breed 'legacy balance sheet thinking' or the often heard view 'if it's not already in our systems, how do we bolt it on'

This isn't a criticism its more of a personal realistic observation based on many years of being called in to help organisations better understand 'transformation' delivery from a brand and people perspective.

A few years ago my team and myself once built the UK's 5th largest e-mail marketing company - purely by accident.

The motivation came from utter frustration, around not being able to deliver a cost effective e-mail marketing platform in time to assist with migrating circa 2m customers from the offline space, onto our new eCommerce platforms for (then) one of the UK's most successful 'Direct Home Shopping Company'.

Following numerous in-house long winded meetings with the IT team who were already busy keeping the IT lights on, then holding a beauty parade of existing ESP's (e-mail service providers) we worked out it was never going to be cost effective or feasible to deliver on the first phase of our 'transformation' strategy. 

This is where we partnered with an innovative start-up software company who built what we wanted in exchange for a 3 year fixed price contract to use the system - a true win/win scenario.

Every company I have worked with have what's known as 'change makers', even in my view is to enable them to work cross functionally to solve the problem, and if it can't be solved in a commercial and timely manner in-house then maybe you should ask them to to look at a few start-ups.

Sometimes working with a start-up can get you where you want to go a lot quicker, they're not constrained by your 'legacy mindset' they are not looking to take an incremental step to 'innovate' they might already have some great ideas, and in exchange for a mutually beneficial commercial relationship can get you where you want to be.

And where can you find these innovative start-ups?

On social media of course, because they don't have the financial and people resources to become 'front of mind' to your customers or clients.