End-user IT spend is quickly moving from on-premise technology to software-as-a-service (SaaS) in the cloud. This means that the channel is being pressured to embrace digital transformation. Channel partners who focus on this will soon be in a strong growth position in a budding market.
According to Gartner, up until 2022, growth in IT spending for cloud-based solutions will be faster than that of non-cloud offerings. This means that resellers, systems integrators, and other companies in the technology channel need to rethink how they provide services in this ever-shifting world.
These four ways of reinventing business can help technology resellers and consulting firms thrive in an age of disruption:
Add value in new ways
Due to all the changes in the IT market, many of the traditional, reliable income streams have started to dwindle. Cloud-based solutions present far easier and faster configuration than traditional ERP software, which means that consulting and implementation revenues are reduced. Resellers will need to find new ways to add value, generate new revenue opportunities, and create greater levels of customer loyalty and satisfaction.
One option is to offer a ‘one-touch’ digital support process that would make it quick and easy to log service requests. Another possibility is to find opportunities to provide advisory and business consulting services to clients who want to transform their IT environments.
Revamp your sales and marketing processes
With the transition to cloud-based IT and SaaS, most organisations are purchasing IT services and software on a pay-as-you-go or subscription basis. This means that IT sales and marketing are required to move on from the days of long sales cycles, towards annuity income streams.
While traditional tools of business-to-business sales and marketing will always play a role, leading IT channel companies of the future will be those that have mastered digital marketing. Some of the most critical skills to invest in are the ability to generate leads from digital channels and using data to acquire and retain clients.
Implement new ways of working
IT resellers often lag behind when it comes to using up-to-date tools for streamlining collaboration and automating processes. Channel companies need to consider new ways of using technology to improve experiences for customers and colleagues alike.
This could mean being open to different modes of work, like telecommuting, and using cloud-based tools to collaborate both internally and externally.
Experiment and take risks
All companies find themselves in a rut at times – from mining and manufacturing, to financial services and IT companies. Getting out of these ruts and changing the business is difficult.
Technology resellers need to start valuing experimentation, risk-taking, and innovation – even if they are happy with their current performance.
They need to open up to the opportunities of experimenting with new sales techniques, adopting new revenue models, and even adding new partners or services to their repositories. Resellers need to look ahead to get an understanding of emerging technologies and how the buying behaviours of their customers are likely to change.
Finding the right partners for your journey
A crucial element for every reseller looking to change its business is the support of vendor partners and their willingness for a cloud-first IT industry. Resellers must partner with vendors who can offer leading cloud technologies, a healthy partner ecosystem, and partner programmes focused on the requirements of the digital era.