17 Jul 2017
It has become generally accepted that digital transformation is a necessary journey that all businesses have to embark on. Most acknowledge that customer expectations have shifted and that digital strategies must change with them.
But what do IT decision-makers actually expect from digital transformation? Do they get more or less than they bargained for? To find out, Gamma surveyed 407 IT decision-makers about their experiences with digital change within their organisation.
It turns out there’s a big difference between what IT decision-makers want from digital transformation and what they end up experiencing. Understanding this digital transformation reality is key to helping channel resellers influence IT leaders and their thinking towards the solutions needed to effect change.
Expectation versus Reality
The majority (60%) of IT decision-makers say that cost reduction is their biggest IT priority when it comes to digital transformation.
However, those are not the benefits they see in practice. Over half (51%) experience greater internal efficiency thanks to implementing new digital technology, and almost as many (45%) see improvements to the customer experience.
What’s interesting to note is that only around one in four (24%) experience reduced IT costs as a result of digital transformation. The biggest driver for IT is not seen as a true transformation benefit in practice.
What does this mean for the future of digital transformation?
It’s clear that businesses need to rethink their expectations of digital transformation in order to more closely match reality.
Particularly, IT leaders need to shift their thinking away from seeing digital change as a means of saving money. This is a hangover of an old mentality that sees the IT function merely as a cost centre, the only goal of which is to decrease its drain on company resources.
Instead, there should be a shift to considering how IT can provide wider strategic benefits to the business. For example, non-strategic functions can be outsourced to the cloud, delivering internal efficiencies that drive real business value. They can also consider how cloud capabilities can power consumer-facing benefits, such as increasing the speed with which businesses can deploy new services for customers.
Moving beyond cost reduction will demonstrate to the rest of the business that IT is thinking strategically.
Where do channel resellers fit in?
To influence IT leaders and their thinking on digital transformation, channel resellers need to change tactic. It’s less about convincing your customers of the price benefits of a solution, and more about helping them understand how they can use it to deliver greater operational efficiencies or better experiences for their customers. The pitch needs to centre around the strategic impact that solutions will have on the wider business.
Saving money is still important, of course. But some of your customers need to be educated about the fact that reducing cost is, at best, a long-term consideration. The primary goal of digital transformation should be more effective and meaningful customer engagement. Treat as a distraction anything that tries to blur that focus, and you’ll be well on your way.
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17 Jul 2017 | Justin Coombes
The views in this article are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Gamma.