Shant Soghomonian, General Manager Channel, Dell EMC ANZ
We’ve all heard the saying that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. When it comes to digital transformation, your customers know they must make the journey, but are unsure how to take those steps – or which should be the first one.
Organisations clearly understand they need to make a digital transformation. According to the 2018 Digital Transformation Index, 78 per cent of Australian and New Zealand business leaders believe digital transformation should be more widespread in their organisations.
The problem is that they are struggling to make it happen. In Australia, one in three businesses are behind the digital business curve, while in New Zealand this number is just under half. Further, only 7 per cent of businesses in Australia and 2 per cent in New Zealand are classified as fully transformed ‘Digital Leaders’. While the number of digital leaders in Australia has grown since our inaugural Digital Transformation Index from 3 per cent it’s still not where we need to be.
Organisations face several barriers as they make the leap. According to the 1,200 business leaders we spoke to in the region, here are the most pressing ones in Australia and New Zealand.
Budget and Resources
Overhauling your entire business to become a digital organisation can require substantial investment. Not just in money, but also time and the effort of acquiring buy-in from the whole business. While transformation doesn’t need to happen in a single step, it does need a holistic plan of how it all works together.
There’s a trend emerging where some buyers make purchasing decisions without even consulting their own IT department. This makes working with a partner who can facilitate well-informed technology decisions pivotal. You can map the shortest, most cost-effective path to digital transformation and help identify the ways they can get the best bang for their buck. While replacing legacy technologies obviously creates long-term cost saving for the business, as a first step you help them leverage existing infrastructure and the newer environments, to deliver agility and cost-saving benefits.
With some organisations realising that moving to the cloud without picking the right type can be a costly misstep, your expertise can ensure that they get a multi-cloud environment that’s fit for purpose, for the right price.
Data privacy and cybersecurity concerns
As businesses increasingly rely on data to drive important decisions, the nature and sensitivity of data protection changed dramatically. The challenge now is ensuring that it and cybersecurity covers every inch of the organisation.
The good news is that half of Australian and 41 per cent New Zealand businesses are building security and privacy into all devices, applications and algorithms. You would hope that those surveyed who aren’t doing this are heavily represented in the 53 per cent of Australian and New Zealand businesses that intend to invest in cybersecurity in the next 1-3 years.
This is where the partnership aspect of the channel comes into play again. You can help ensure that the appropriate protection is in play from the datacentre to the network to the user and every stage in between, as it moves through the multi-cloud environment
Immature digital culture
Digital transformation isn’t just about changing technology, it’s changing the business. Many organisations are looking to do just this, with 40 per cent of Australian and 36 per cent of New Zealand businesses saying they’re embracing agile software development. This allows them to develop faster and more efficiently.
They also understand that becoming a digital business isn’t just having pockets of technology, but all elements of the organisation working together. Consequently, 62 per cent of Australian businesses are sharing knowledge and, equipping IT leaders with business skills and business leaders with IT skills. New Zealand is less committed to this with only 43 per cent in the same position.
You’re placed to provide the solutions and guidance that connects these dots for your customers.
Once, if your customers wanted information about products or solutions they had a limited pool to dive into. There was you and other players in your space, brochures from vendors and trade publications.
Now that pool has grown to an ocean of information, and while it’s great that all that insight is available anywhere at any time, it can also make that ocean feel like a tsunami. Organisations are looking for someone to help them through choice paralysis, with a partner who can give them the guidance to focus on what really matters when making decisions.
It also means that they are looking for solutions that stems information overload within the business, given the explosion in the volume of data. Enabling automation wherever possible does the hard work for them.
Lack of the right skill sets and expertise
There is an appetite in many organisations to build skills within the business. Both countries acknowledged a skills gap, with 43 per cent of Australian and 40 per cent of New Zealand businesses working to develop the right skills sets and expertise in-house, such as teaching staff how to code. But this does not mean the channel is being cut out of the skills picture.
There’s never going to be a scenario where all skills can be found or developed in-house all the time, at least not without a massive blowout in headcount. As the trusted advisor, you can work with customers to identify where it makes sense to recruit or build in-house, where automation can deliver the required functionality and where outsourcing makes sense
The channel is no stranger to managing change. The industry itself has moved from selling boxes to partnering with customers to navigate the cloud. This partnership means its ideally placed to overcome the barriers to digital transformation that plague many organisations in Australian and New Zealand.