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digital business transformationWith all the hype about digital business transformation, many managed service providers have doubts about how much funding is really being allocated to these projects.

Conducted by the market research firm Vanson Bourne on behalf of Couchbase, a new survey of 450 leaders of digital transformation initiatives, including CIOs, CTOs, and chief digital officers, in organizations with 1,000 employees in the U.S. and Europe, finds that 89 percent of the respondents say that their industry is either already being disrupted by digital technology or that it’s only a matter of time before disruption hits. The survey finds that to rise to that challenge organizations spent an average of $5.67 million on digital innovation and transformation projects in the past 12 months, with 15 percent spending more than $10 million.

Managed service providers will be most interested in the biggest obstacles to achieving those digital business transformations. The top three concerns are lack of resources, complexities associated with employing multiple technologies, and reliance on legacy database technologies.

Two approaches for MSPs

Naturally, the ultimate goal driving each digital business transformation project will vary. What’s significant from an MSP perspective is that each project is trying to achieve a business outcome that is both inhibited by and enabled by IT. The more digital business transformation leaders strive to achieve their goal, the more they come to realize how little of the internal IT staff’s efforts make a meaningful contribution. It’s not to say the tasks that need to be performed are not important. It’s just that when it comes to increasing revenue or dropping more profits to the bottom line there are many mundane tasks that take away time that IT staff might be able to apply to help driving a digital business initiative.

MSPs can pursue two paths to take advantage of what amounts to an increased awareness of the strategic role IT plays in digital business initiatives. The first is to become the primary means of managing all the IT needed to drive that digital business initiative. Unfortunately, that usually means butting heads with an internal IT staff that might not be want to relinquish control over what their organization views as a strategic initiative. The second is to focus on the mundane tasks that prevent the internal IT staff from playing that strategic role. Most internal IT staffs are happy to give up the rote stuff if they know they can add value somewhere else. It’s only when the organization has no other role for them to play that things become contentious between an MSP and the internal IT staff.

Funding of digital business projects is only expected to go up. That’s especially good news when you consider that a lot of the budget for those projects comes from outside the existing IT budget. What MSPs need to figure out is how to position themselves to tap into that potential stream of revenue in a way that makes everyone involved as content as possible.


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Mike Vizard

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

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