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The meaning of digital business transformation has always been in the eye of the beholder. Still, managed service providers (MSPs) should take note of the significant shift towards a greater emphasis on making organizations more resilient and efficient.

A survey of 600 senior IT decision makers conducted by Couchbase, a provider of a NoSQL database platform, found that enterprises plan to invest, on average, $33 million in IT modernization over the next 12 months. The survey finds that 60 percent of respondents now identify their key modernization goal to improve business resilience and efficiency.

More than three quarters (78 percent) also noted their main transformation priorities have changed in the last three years. More than half noted their focus is now more on reacting to market changes and customer preferences to enable the organization to remain agile. Over a third (38 percent) are focusing on tangible modernization projects that will provide immediate results. Only 22 percent said their priorities have stayed the same over the last three years.

The survey also finds that over half (58 percent) say their projects have become more targeted toward specific business outcomes. However, the survey reveals nearly half of respondents (49 percent) reported that their chief financial officer (CFO) is managing budgets in more detail, with 37 percent noting that pressure to achieve transformation with less budget and staff resources has increased in the last 12 months. More than a third (35 percent) said their IT department is under additional strain now than at any other point in the last five years.

Emerging opportunities for MSPs

In addition, (53 percent) of respondents said their organization is either on target (31 percent) or ahead of their planned progress (22 percent). The most common benefit from digital projects in the past 12 months is increased business resilience (57 percent). Well over half (54 percent) claimed to have made “significant” or better improvements to the end-user experience. However, over a third (38 percent) noted they do not have a clear sense of the top priorities for new transformation projects.

The top technologies organizations are investing in as a result are serverless computing (42 percent), edge computing and IoT (40 percent), and low or no-code technologies (39 percent), followed by large language models (LLMs) for building artificial intelligence (AI) models.

Modernization within the context of digital business transformation is no longer an event but rather a continuous, never-ending process during which different priorities ebb and flow. MSPs are well-positioned to help organizations improve both resiliency and IT efficiency. Still, they need to make sure they are listening closely to how each organization is using phrases such as “digital business transformation.” If the focus is on building and deploying experimental applications to drive a new business process, the opportunity for MSPs to play a major role in that effort may be more limited than it is if the focus is on making existing applications less expensive to run while simultaneously ensuring high availability.

The good news is that many more organizations are redefining digital business transformation in a way that plays to the strengths of MSPs.

Photo: Blue Planet Studio / Shutterstock

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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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