Last year, the term ‘digital transformation’ was viewed as just a buzz word. In 2018, it became much more than that; it is now a term used to describe technology changes, typically involving some type of virtualization – be it cloud migration, layered applications, security upgrades, etc.While digital transformation still isn’t a precise term, as it encompasses a variety of definitions, it’s clear that organizations large and small have embraced the value of digital transformation.
C-Suite executives have largely been mandated to focus on digital transformation projects. IDC reported $1.2 trillion was spent on digital transformation projects in 2017 and expects that figure to increase to $1.7 trillion per year, over the next two years.
Knowing companies are already on their way or have at the least put together a plan around digital transformation projects, the opportunity for a trusted advisor to lead the way has never been greater. This is due in part to the pace of innovation but can primarily be credited to the lack of awareness and understanding of newer technologies. End-users rely on their trusted advisors to wade through the weeds and manage the variety of moving parts these projects tend to create.
Digital transformation will not slowdown in 2019. These three technologies are expected to have the greatest potential to not only drive revenue, but they also have the most influence and transformative power on the technology industry as a whole.
According to TBI and AT&T’s 2018 State of Channel Partner Business Report, 70% of partners are currently investing in security solutions and 10% plan to do so in the next 18 months. This comes as no surprise when you think about the threat landscape, not to mention the rise of connected IoT devices that make traditional security approaches impractical. Gartner estimates worldwide security spend to reach $124 billion next year (up nearly 30% from 2018).
If you aren’t familiar with selling security, striving to become an expert may not be the best use of your time. We advise you to keep the conversations around security simple. Your customers know that you are a business advisor, and it’s perfectly okay to acknowledge you’re not the SME. That’s why you work with companies like TBI who have experienced teams to fill those knowledge gaps. To help get the conversation started, download this security guide for discovery questions to ask and some of the best solutions to propose.
37% of channel partners are currently investing in mobility, while 15% plan to do so in the next 18 months (TBI and AT&T’s 2018 State of Channel Partner Business Report). The interest in selling mobility is due in part to top mobility vendors now having competitive contracts and programs in place that enable channel partners to earn residual commissions. The second piece is simply that end-users need partners’ help because mobility management can be a huge undertaking. Mobility service portfolio is more than just managing data usage and devices, so having conversations around an organization’s mobile practice should include things such as their BYOD policies, remote management, security, and application management.
If you haven’t already, start having conversations around mobility sooner than later, especially as 5G becomes increasingly relevant in the channel; you’ll want to have a mobility practice established well before that becomes an imminent concern. Check out our guide to adding mobility to your portfolio.
Internet of Things (IoT)
We aren’t far away from a moment in time when there are more devices connected to the Internet than people. Worldwide IoT spending is expected to increase by more than 70% in 2019 alone (Juniper Research). We're becoming more and more reliant on IoT, to accomplish both personal and professional responsibilities. This year alone, around 3.6 billion devices connected to the Internet are being used to perform daily tasks (IT Pro).
Channel partners are taking note of this growth and doubling down next year; over 50% are making investments to add IoT solutions to their portfolio (TBI and AT&T’s 2018 State of Channel Partner Business Report). While there’s no doubt the need exists, some partners are uncertain on how to position IoT solutions. The easiest way to get started is by targeting verticals that are already seasoned in IoT solutions and realizing the value, such as healthcare and logistics companies who rely on IoT sensors for tracking a variety of tasks. This familiarity will continue to spread as applications become available for every vertical, making IoT essential for doing business.
The increasing number of devices also means more data, traffic, and congestion on the Internet, thus increasing the opportunity and need for 5G connectivity. Our VP of Engineering shares ways all partners (VARs, MSPs, Consultants) can bring value to the end-user when it comes to IoT in this blog.
As you continue to have conversations around digital transformation and emerging technologies, the ultimate question to pose is this: where is the organization’s demand coming from? This leads into discussions around budget, approvals from department leaders, priorities (luxury item vs. critical need). Lean on TBI to provide the specific resources you need, be it marketing collateral to technical support, and have them at your disposal without the heavy lifting. TBI has your back and is committed to helping you grow your business.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Emily Ball is a Partner Marketing Specialist at TBI. Her objective is to develop strategic programs and help propel sales for TBI’s subagents. Serving as their marketing liaison, Emily fosters growth through strategy discussions, assistance with content creation, campaign development and more. You can contact Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with Emily on LinkedIn.