WHAT DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION MEANS TO ME?
Reza Honarmand, vice president, Cloud, Europe, at Tech Data says that digital transformation becomes really effective when technology and industry knowledge are brought together.
One of the questions often asked about digital transformation is whether it’s the technology itself, or changes to the ways in which we work and live that is driving digitisation. The answer, of course, is that they feed off each other. Digital transformation really starts to takes shape when you combine technology skills with industry, vertical market or business knowledge. When you bring these abilities together, and place solutions in the hands of someone who knows how to deploy them, that’s when you get a real acceleration.
No cloud platform, service or technology is in itself going to deliver digital transformation. But if you apply the right technology in the right way to marketing, sales, procurement or operational cycles, customers will gain new insights and intelligence that will be genuinely valuable to them.
Such a possibility was previously beyond the reach of the vast majority of companies. The cloud has made transformational services much more accessible. It is just a question of applying the technologies and industry-specific solutions, apps and services in the right way – that’s the big opportunity for our partners and their customers.
This will make it necessary for channel partners to develop specific industry or technology expertise. That is not necessarily as big a challenge as it may sound. Today, most of our partners consider themselves to be generalist suppliers of IT solutions and services. But many also underestimate their own capabilities and the in-depth knowledge and experience they have in defined markets, customer groups or technologies.
By recognising and building on these capabilities and bringing them together with their experience and skill in technology, resellers and solutions providers can develop the ability to deliver genuine transformation for their customers.
This will become even more important in the future. As digital transformation accelerates, disruption will cause company lifecycles to shorten. The new businesses that emerge and cause this disruption will be much more digital-savvy – that’s one of the main reasons that they will succeed. They will not need an ‘IT specialist’ to provision apps, set up virtual machines, or automate backups in the cloud. They will be perfectly capable of doing all that themselves.
To stay relevant, partners will need to develop new specialisations, transform and develop their own talent, and create new kinds of solutions that they can sell to a new kind of customer.