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As economic headwinds continue to rise, organisations across all industries are looking for ways to drive efficiency and forge ahead in 2023.
A difficult economy doesn’t mean digital transformation will slow; in fact, it will be quite the opposite. Those who double down on innovation will emerge stronger and more agile – ready to accelerate again when the outlook improves.
As such, organisations will rely on their transformation partners more than ever before. With this increased reliance, now more than ever partners need to focus on building and delivering services that enable customers to optimise operations and drive transformation faster and at lower cost, while remaining profitable themselves.
Looking at the road ahead for 2023, here are my top predictions for how the channel will respond to these demands.
Partners will focus on helping customers drive more efficient growth
Organisations need to continue to transform and grow, so they can keep up with the competition and meet the needs of their customers. However, they’re unlikely to have extra budget to hire additional resources or invest heavily in new solutions in the coming year. They will therefore look for partners that can help optimise their use of internal resources and streamline processes so they can drive greater value from their existing investments.
For example, a high number of organisations are still spending millions each year just keeping the lights on across their IT infrastructure, with teams instrumenting dashboards, monitoring systems performance,and analysing data to triage any problems that arise. This demands huge amounts of manpower and is a drain on resources that hinders innovation.
If partners can offer services and solutions that support these tasks more efficiently, their customers can redeploy internal resources to focus on higher-value tasks that drive growth for the business.
Automation will be the number one priority on transformation roadmaps
With this laser focus on driving efficiency, automation will become mandatory – if it isn’t already – to enable organisations to continue to innovate. Partners that can help their customers to remove toil from core business activities – such as by enabling self-healing in complex cloud-native apps and continuous optimisation of multicloud infrastructure – will therefore be best placed to drive value and succeed.
Partners that can also deliver end-to-end technology solutions that bring in more automation, and drive scale, efficiency and reliability throughout the software delivery lifecycle, will ultimately come out on top.
Many organisations do not have enough internal resources to task skilled developers and operations teams with sourcing and connecting all the tools they need to deliver innovation. As such, they will increasingly seek service providers that have partnerships with all the leading independent software vendors (ISVs) and hyperscalers, and the capability to seamlessly integrate them into an end-to-end toolchain. This will pave the way for further automation and efficiency across the delivery pipeline.
Infrastructure services providers will partner with ISVs and hyperscalers
As the drive for efficient growth and continued innovation accelerates, traditional infrastructure services providers will feel more drawn towards offering hybrid multicloud solutions. They will therefore increasingly need to partner with ISVs and hyperscalers that enable them to easily expand or augment their existing services portfolio to meet customer needs in the hybrid multicloud world.
These digital ecosystems are heavily interconnected, so services running in the cloud are never an island. As such, partners will focus on building out their capability to integrate services across multicloud and traditional infrastructure environments. This will enable them to deliver end-to-end solutions that enable application transactions and user journeys to flow seamlessly for their customers.
Partners need to modernise their own operations to deliver transformations for their customers
With finite skilled resources at their disposal and growing pressure on their operating margins, service providers will need to deliver their own internal transformations to drive success and remain the partner of choice. Customers seek partners that can help them accelerate innovation, but they are much more sensitive to any price increases in light of the economic outlook.
Michael Allen, Dynatrace
Therefore, to maintain healthy margins, partners need to modernise their internal operations, to make better use of their own resources. They need to enable their delivery teams to do more with less, by equipping them with solutions and platforms that streamline operating processes and reduce manual toil.
As such, to stay ahead in 2023, service providers will need to practice what they preach and harness those same solutions they use to enable automation for their customers in their own delivery environments.
This will give partners more opportunity to expand their services portfolio by freeing up their teams to find new ways of delivering value to customers by simplifying business workflows or rearchitecting applications to run more efficiently in the cloud. These benefits will be passed on to the customer, giving them an edge in the market that other partners cannot provide.
A year of challenges, or opportunities?
While the year ahead will likely be characterised by tightened budgets and the drive for cost savings, partners should see the challenge as an opportunity to become more strategic to their customers’ success rather than as an obstacle to overcome.
By helping customers to optimise and transform their services, partners can become an invaluable and irreplaceable extension of the organisation. Those that demonstrate their expertise in driving growth with efficiency and expand their portfolio to offer more value-added services for the hybrid, multicloud world will be best placed to not only survive, but thrive in 2023 and beyond.