While change is always a little scary, IT Solution Providers should be feeling pretty good about the profound transformation taking place in the market. Looking ahead, there is plenty of growth potential as disruptive technologies create new service and sales opportunities.
The market is changing thanks to advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and edge computing. Combined, these technologies are creating new automated and digital models that enable organizations to reach new levels of efficiency, achieve operational excellence, and provide better customer experiences.
The benefits are obvious, but organizations cannot possibly implement, manage, and maintain the necessary systems and platforms to run these technologies without help from experts. And that’s where IT Solution Providers come in. If you are tuned in to the market’s transformation and position yourself to leverage new opportunities, the future is bright.
One of the most IT Solution Provider-friendly developments the technology transformation has triggered is as-a-service models. Already common with software applications, service-based models will become prevalent in all areas of IT, including infrastructure in the data center and at the edge.
Just as organizations now consume software by subscription; IT infrastructure equipment, security, and maintenance increasingly will be available as a service. Companies will contract partners to deliver technology to the data center and edge sites, monitor it, and troubleshoot and replace it as needed. Rather than making large up-front investments, which can be prohibitive, organizations will pay for the systems, software, and services on a subscription basis.
This approach opens the path for many organizations to the digital future. It will require some planning and strategy; IT Solution Providers will need to work out financial arrangements with their banks and vendors to make it all happen. The sooner you do, the better. Everything-as-a-service translates to attractive new revenue opportunities for partners.
The IT Solution Providers who are best positioned for success in the new digital world will have the capability to provide end-to-end infrastructure services. Traditionally, solution providers have handled only certain components of the environment — applications, networking, or systems monitoring, for instance. But as environments grow into complex hybrids with assets in many geographically dispersed locations, some solution providers will need to step up and provide end-to-end management for their customers.
This of course doesn’t mean a single IT Solution Provider does everything. After all, modern hybrid environments rely on an ecosystem of partners and integrated solutions to run properly. But there is definitely an opportunity for partners with the right capabilities to take the reins and manage from implementation to management and maintenance to replacement as needed. Partners that develop these capabilities in the coming year will get an early start on leveraging new technology opportunities.
Success for IT Solution Providers going forward will hinge not only on service capabilities, but their understanding of the new, disruptive technologies. They need to become conversant in AI, machine learning (ML), IoT, and edge computing systems so they can best service customers.
This will require a two-pronged approach. You have to know the technology in order to sell and service it. But savvy partners also understand they have to use it themselves. For one thing, using AI, ML, and data analytics systems in your operations will deliver new efficiencies and enable you to refine the customer experience. On top of that, it’s also a good way to learn how the technology works and sends the message to your customers that you believe in it — and so should they.
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As an IT Solution Provider, there’s a lot to be excited about in the new year. There will be plenty of opportunity to grow your business and provide Certainty in a Connected World for your end users. And while that will take some serious planning and effort, one thing is for sure: it’s a great time to be an IT Solution Provider. To learn more about our partner program and how we can help you expand your business, visit our partner portal.