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CIOs reaching out to the channel for support

Dealing with pressures to innovate with tight budgets and sort out the overhanging issues after the pandemic means many customers require help

Chief information officers (CIOs) are recognising the importance of working with channel partners if they are to succeed in their digital transformation aims.

Customers are under increased pressure to make their budgets stretch, but are also fearful of increasing their technical debt and falling behind competitors as budgets tighten.

SoftwareOne recently undertook a CIO survey to reveal the state of the market, with it clear the majority of IT leaders (83%) are under pressure to make budgets stretch further than they have done in the past.

The focus is on improving cloud cost management and driving down increasing technical debt, but already 72% of CIOs quizzed felt they were falling behind in digital transformation efforts.

Una Keeshan, federation leader for the UK, Ireland, South Africa and Nordics at SoftwareOne, said there were clear issues that could be solved by the channel.

“The challenge a CIO has today is that we live in uncertain economic times,” she said. “It’s been a turbulent 12 months. We’ve seen globally soaring inflation. We’ve seen global conflict, and we see issues with regards to supply chain disruption. It means when you have such uncertainty, this can impact how CIOs make decisions around some of their IT initiatives.”

Keeshan said CIOs were recognising that the positive difference partners can make is understood by senior management across customers, with more reaching out to firms like SoftwareOne for support. “At the CIO meetings I have been in over the past few months, they are now understanding our businesses, how it has evolved, but they are coming to us to understand how they can help with their challenges,” she said.

Accessing information

She added that the questions customers were looking for advice with included accessing information and improving collaboration, as well as getting a grip on their cloud costs and application estate.

The research indicated that CIOs remained under pressure and that the current “more with less” mantra was adding to the strain.

“Never mind the economic pressures that are there, but also, the business [is] looking at them to save costs, and in many cases to drive innovation,” said Keeshan.

“What are they doing to transform their business digitally, and how does that impact the bottom line? And how does that impact productivity within the business, how people might work better together? Those are the conversations we’re having with customers.”

She said there was also a sense that CIOs were under pressure to try to position the business for the future and ensure that levels of technical debt were not rising through 2023.

“Part of this has been driven by moving to the cloud during the pandemic,” said Keeshan. “A lot of CIOs now have to retrospectively step back and review if there is a better way to do this. Is there a better way to consume?”

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