14 Nov 2018
It’s top of the agenda for every CIO or IT leader out there and carries huge importance with it. But that doesn’t make digital transformation easy. Indeed, the scale and complexity of the projects aligned to transformation can cause big headaches for the people in charge of it. Meaning that the end goal, whether it’s modernised devices, better security, cost savings or efficiency, can feel a long way away.
For channel partners like you, this is a great place to add value in the form of guidance and advice. In doing so, you’ll bring your customers closer to your business, open new sales opportunities, and – importantly – solve the transformation challenges that might be keeping your customers up at night.
To help you do all this, here are the three things that we think your customers are facing:
It sounds obvious. But that doesn’t make it any less true. One of the primary blockers to digital transformation for your customers will be finding and keeping the resource needed to do it well. And something that ties closely to into this is organisational resistance.
It’s unfortunately common that businesses become tied to ways of working that are counterintuitive to the goals of transformation, with attachment to outdated and inefficient technology fuelling the well-documented UK productivity crisis. Breaking these habits can be hugely difficult, making it nigh on impossible for the IT leader you’re dealing with to convince people to go with the changes and unlock the budget that will let it happen.
Channel partners can help them get around this problem by presenting a clear business case for transformation, that’s rooted in benefits. For example, cloud telephony can make remote working possible, removing the pressure to have a big office stacked full of people and tech. In a way, the technology involved in transformation pays for itself.
In a perfect world, transformation would be wholesale. Out with the old, in with the new. But we don’t live in a perfect world, and that kind of complete infrastructure change rarely happens. Because of this, legacy infrastructure is a fact of life for many IT leaders that you will deal with.
It’s important to keep this in mind when working with customers. The solutions you sell will have to be able to work with legacy, or adequately replace it – like SIP trunking does with ISDN, which (as we know) is scheduled for cut off very soon.
Either way, legacy has to be kept in mind for channel partners. It’s a fact of life, even if we don’t like it!
There are myriad benefits that come as a result of digital transformation. Businesses can become more efficient, cost effective, flexible. You name it, it’s there. But often your customers will struggle to understand why they’re doing this whole transformation thing in the first place.
This is where you really earn your reputation as a trusted channel partner. By using your expertise to outline the business problems that can be solved with transformation you’ll give your customers a clear reason to work with you. Then, by providing technology solutions that take care of those problems, you’ll become a strategic partner in their transformation.
Remember, if a business needs a reason to believe that transformation is the right thing for them, money talk always works. As many as 60% of all IT infrastructure spending will be on cloud come 2020. And with the lower cost of ownership attached to that, transformation will always be a long-term money saver.
Of course, there are many challenges that your customers might face with transformation. These three are just some of the most prevalent. Your role as a channel partner is to listen and advise, as well as sell – that’s where true value is found.
14 Nov 2018 | Justin Coombes
The views in this article are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Gamma.