Richard Eglon – Agilitas Marketing Director
A week on from attending CRN’s inaugural European Channel Leadership Forum (ECLF) and I find myself with a little time to reflect on what topics were high on the agenda of most business leaders. As you would expect, there was plenty of discussion around digital workplace, GDPR, security, commercial models and challenges facing CIO’s but the one significant message that really stood out for me was that of ‘Transformation’.
At no time in our industry’s history has there been so much need for change as business models flip on their heads, technology becomes more agnostic and channel firms struggle to find their niche. Business leaders are more than ever required to transform their businesses at an exponential rate through innovation, disruption and collaboration in order to remain relevant to their customers.
It seems social media and industry news content is awash with the term ‘digital transformation’ these days where ‘digital’ seems to be the latest buzzword. Surely the term ‘digital’ should just be the norm now with more emphasis being aligned to the importance of ‘transformation’. Regardless of technology advancements, political landscape, or the status of financial markets, the one thing that remains constant is change. Those channel businesses that embrace transformation the most during these times of change will be the ones to prosper in the future.
Those leaders attending the ECLF also highlighted the importance of channel businesses needing to understand whether or not their end user customers were in a position to embrace digital transformation. It is ok having a digital transformation roadmap but firms also need a plan for today’s transformation where on premise infrastructure projects still have a large part to play as businesses get ready to migrate over to cloud based solutions.
From the opposite perspective ‘Born in the Cloud’ businesses have less requirement to transform as they have been built on transformation in building an agile and efficient business model. Their biggest challenge is trying to gain wallet share in a very competitive market. Whereas the more traditional channel businesses whether that be resellers, MSPs, distributors or vendors all need to transform or risk becoming extinct.
Fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing so in order to remain relevant to target markets and gain competitive advantage over rivals, channel businesses need to step up and become part of the age of the transformers and not the age of extinction.