IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

4 Ways to Future-Proof Your Business

Ensure business resilience by adding competencies that address customer pain points and advance digital transformation goals. By Shannon Sbar

With $6.8 trillion of direct digital transformation investment from 2020 to 2023, customers are demanding digital solutions that can be effectively monitored and managed. This investment signals a shift in customer needs toward more specialization as platforms emerge to provide solutions for unique problems.

The relentless pace of technology adoption has steered customers and providers down new paths shaped by the availability of advanced solutions in areas such as the Internet of Things, the convergence of IT and operational technology, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and edge computing. For IT solutions providers, this represents both a challenge and an opportunity. 

Investing in “beyond the box” business transformation skills will help partners engage with customers at a higher level, while focusing on the combination of hardware, software, and services – a shift toward a more comprehensive business model. Adding competencies, whether organically or through acquisition, enables partners to widen their value proposition for customers.

The rapidly changing world has transformed the way that organizations use technology. As newly distributed and remote workforces collaborate virtually and settle into the present-day way of operating, teams work with critical information and tools differently than ever before. Future-proofing IT channel partners to deliver end-to-end energy management and automation solutions will help their customers drive efficiency, growth, and ultimately, increase profitability.

There are four primary ways partners can ensure business resilience:

1. Move beyond hardware: For many IT channel partners, moving beyond hardware to also deliver managed services is an opportunity to demonstrate enhanced value to customers. In fact, the everything-as-as-service market is expected to grow by 28% between 2021 and 2028, indicating that many organizations are moving in a customer-oriented direction. It also creates an opportunity for greater financial incentives from vendors as they start to measure and recognize the long-term value that each partner is delivering to customers.

2. Have a clear plan for evolving and transforming the business: With a clear plan in place, IT channel partners can more successfully leverage all resources—from training and education to new technologies and smart digital tools. Hardware-focused IT channel partners face consolidation pressures as traditional product margins erode, and customers increasingly turn to next-generation partners with digital capabilities and focus on software-enabled and services-led solutions.

3. Transition from a sell-focused to a serve-focused business model: This creates a business platform for increased recurring revenue streams, more efficient customer engagement, closer customer relationships, competitive differentiation, and enhanced partner status. To operate successfully, this requires a commitment from partners to change their business model and recognition that customer success and the customer experience are vital focus areas driving long-term success.