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Digital risk looks to be a good niche for the channel

Business leaders are concerned that their digital strategies are not going to lead them in the right direction

The channel has seen its role as a digital transformation advisor increase in the past couple of years and customers continue to be fearful that they are making the wrong decisions about their future.

Given the amount of pressure there is to digitise the business and avoid being trapped in a decline into irrelevance because of faster adapting competition, it is perhaps of little surprise that Gartner has found so many customers are worried about forming a digital strategy.

The analyst house has shared the headline findings from its latest Emerging risks monitor report, and seen the fear of making the wrong “strategic assumptions” climb to the top of the list of things keeping people awake at night.

“This quarter saw a number of external risks converge in executives’ thinking, from increasing concerns about the impact of extreme weather events to trade policy,” said Matt Shinkman, vice-president of Gartner’s risk and audit practice.

“Currently, however, business leaders are most acutely concerned with the beliefs underpinning their own strategic assumptions and the ramifications of getting them wrong,” he added.

Where there seems to be an opportunity for the channel is around dealing with the concept of risk and talking to customers about the likely consequences of a digital transformation strategy.

“Strategic assumptions are often sound when they are first formed, but in today’s environment are more vulnerable to becoming outdated or obsolete due to a rapid increase in the pace of change,” said Shinkman.

“A key component of clarifying strategic assumptions is discerning between likely truths and critical uncertainties… Risk leaders should involve themselves early in the strategic planning process by developing a set of criteria to stress-test assumptions and root out biases and flaws before they become cemented in a strategic plan,” he added.

One of the most obvious consequences of getting a strategy wrong is the increased security problems that a business could leave itself open to. Gartner pointed to the experiences of some of those that have rushed to allow more connectivity to the core infrastructure as examples of where risks have been multiplied.

There are already signs that those that can help customers deal with risk will reap the rewards, with Digital Shadows, which specialises in that area, doubling its partner revenues in the past year.

Davitt Potter, director of MSSP and channel sales, Americas, at Digital Shadows, said this was an area that should be stirring interest.

“I have always looked ‘around the corner’ to what’s coming next in technology. The market for external threat intelligence is set for mass adoption,” he added. “I look forward to expanding our established partnerships in the region and building new partnerships to take the company to the next phase of our growth.”


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