The key theme of this year’s CRN On event, which had the highest in attendance since Agilitas first started their association with the event in 2015, was the transformation of the channel. Throughout the day, conversations focused on the factors involved in and affected by transformation such as technology, business models, culture and the people within a business.
It was clear that along with the key theme of transformation, channel companies, including traditional resellers and ‘born in the cloud’ businesses were also taking into consideration previous themes that we have discussed throughout our Channel in 2020 Campaign, including Innovation, Collaboration, Relevance and Disruption.
Chaired by Sara Yirrell, Consulting Editor at CRN, this year’s event had a range of speakers giving their different perspectives and opinions on how to approach transformation. Speakers included Shaun Lynn, CEO at Agilitas, Louise Chadbone and Alastair Wynn from Softcat, Jon Sansom from Greensafe IT, and Kyle Hughes, Co-founder of Applied Influence Group.
Here are three key takeaways which Agilitas felt were the most prominent throughout the event and should definitely be front of mind for those in the channel now and in the future:
Richard Eglon, Marketing Director at Agilitas
Better never stops
Any company can go through a transformation but if you really want to continue to be successful you must continuously be transforming. In the IT channel, as in any industry, there are constant developments and ever changing customer needs that have to be met. Constant innovation is the only way that businesses will be able to keep up with these trends and ensure they are meeting and exceeding their customers needs.
To be competitive in today’s channel, companies must always be developing their business models and the service you are providing. Instead of a large-scale digital transformation project that may be planned out for a specific period of time, businesses must focus on digital evolution, where they are constantly striving to innovate and be creative in their work. This can help ensure you are always offering your customers the best services you can whether automation across processes or a self-serve portal.
Managing transformation internally
Without the people in your business, transformation would not be possible. However, managing the people in your business during a transformation can create challenges, as not everyone embraces change and is automatically open to the idea of new processes, ideas and challenges. It is important to include all of your team in the transformation and keep them updated all the way to avoid any confusions or miscommunications.
The key here is to always keep your staff in the loop and ensure they understand the advantages that transformation could have for them. For example, some employees may think that advances in technology may put their job in jeopardy, looking at it in a negative manner. Instead leaders need to explain to their staff that it will actually just eradicate the mundane tasks in their job and maximise the time for exciting new projects and opportunities, encouraging them to see the transformation in a positive light.
Technology driving processes and efficiency
Many may think that technology itself is the main driver behind transformation and progress in our industry. However, it is important to remember that technology is nothing without people; the people are the ones who are using this technology to drive change. In reality, technology drives processes and efficiencies. There is no point investing in new technology if nobody understands the process. Only once the people in your business understand the process, can technology start streamlining tasks.
It is also vital to include your whole team during a transformation. If one person is responsible for an entire transformation project, you put its completion at risk if they were to leave the business. Transformation should be shared, as your team are the people who know your business the best, and their knowledge, opinions and skills will drive your business forward.