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Customers are not the only ones making investments to ensure their businesses are fit to weather the next stages of the digital transformation storm and the channel is also spending to put itself in a strong position.
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Research commissioned by Agilitas has found that innovation projects cost channel leaders on average £66,587.74 last year and that figure is expected to rise by 50% by 2020.
Technology innovation was the main area of spending, followed by solutions, business analytics and contracts as the channel looked to make sure it continued to be ahead of the game.
“As we continue to face disruption, complacency and doing the same thing is no longer an option. What has been clear over recent years is that there is demand for us to continue to adapt our offerings as the needs of the technology industry and business community evolves," said Shaun Lynn, CEO of Agilitas.
His advice was for the channel to make sure that they create environments where they can be open to encouraging, accepting and developing fresh ideas.
“As a result, creating and fostering a positive environment, where new ideas are trialed and embraced is set to be critical as we approach 2020, particularly if the current levels of uncertainty continue to be seen across the market," he added.
The research revealed that many channel firms were looking to hire staff and around a third were prepared to invest in training that would encourage innovation and just over a quarter were happy to explore employee ideas.
“It is critical to understand that the only thing in the channel that remains constant is change,” added Lynn “As an industry, we need to make sure that challenges are met with creative new ideas. Our research has highlighted positive movement, and I expect to see continued investment growth as we approach 2020.”
There have been warnings to the channel that it needs to invest in digital transformation to make sure it can convince customers that the skills and knowledge is there to help them.
Last Spring, Gartner sounded the alarm that that users are looking for 'bimodal' providers that can service existing IT as well as drive the business forward with new solutions.
The analyst house warned that over the next couple of years supplier relationships will be reassessed and those that fail to demonstrate they can deliver will lose out on the business transformation budget and be left competing for traditional business.