As businesses weigh the benefits of emerging technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), edge computing and artificial intelligence (AI), they are allocating large portions of their budgets to digital transformation. A recent Forbes poll of 500 senior executives reveals that 85 percent are allocating up to one quarter of their total budgets to digital transformation.
The move to digitization isn’t without its challenges, as businesses often struggle with what digital transformation means and how to execute it. Many will look to outside help to develop and execute their plans, creating a perfect opportunity for MSPs to further entrench themselves with existing customers and win new business.
The opportunity is vast: Estimated at $206 billion in 2017, the digital transformation market is expanding at a 19 percent annual clip to a projected $493 billion in 2020, according to research firm Markets and Markets.
But what exactly is the MSPs role in digital transformation? MSPs who cannot answer this question have some work to do. You need to bone up on digital transformation and relevant technologies such as hybrid clouds, IoT and edge computing, and develop your own strategy to build solutions and consulting services for customers with digitization initiatives.
Here are four ways for MSPs to help customers with digital transformation:
1. Assess Client Needs
What drives digital transformation are business outcomes such as enhanced customer experience, operational efficiencies and workforce optimization. But what each of those means and how to accomplish it differs from business to business. Therefore, MSPs must work with customers to perform thorough assessments of all digital assets. Assessments help draw a roadmap for implementation while creating a foundation for a long-term engagement between client and provider.
2. Set Digitization Goals
No technology project can achieve optimal success without predetermined goals – and digital transformation is no different. Providers should work with clients to set goals and the implications of those goals. How each objective is achieved affects a group of stakeholders, be it employees, customers, partners or a combination of all. It’s imperative that businesses understand the effects of those goals and stakeholder buy-in to work toward and make the necessary adjustments.
3. Recommend Investments
Once the assessment is complete, the planning phase begins. This includes determining what investments are needed and how to finance them. MSPs should work with customers through the investment process and financing options to ensure realistic planning. Digital transformation doesn’t happen all at once, so customers must decide which investments to make first. Investments may include replacing hardware with virtual systems, deploying new applications, increasing bandwidth capacity and purchasing monitoring solutions to secure server rooms and edge sites.
4. Execute the Vision
Businesses large and small need help executing their vision for digitization. In some cases, companies will hand off the brunt of the work to providers while in others they will keep a lot of it in-house. Either way, MSPs can play an essential role by delivering professional and consulting services teams, handling day-to-day tasks while internal staff focuses on the transformation or a combination of both.
Digitization strategies have become essential to a company’s future planning, which explains why so many senior executives are allocating large portions of their budges to it. A company’s future success may well depend on the planning and execution of its strategy – and MSPs have an excellent opportunity to forge their own future success by helping clients shape theirs.
To get started, MSPs can take advantage of Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure™ IT suite, which offers an assessment to help understand the existing state of the customer’s IT, power and cooling. EcoStruxure IT delivers a holistic view of how customers are currently consuming their virtual IT and the effect on their physical infrastructure. You get actionable intelligence to enable meaningful customer discussions about where to invest when looking to optimize their virtual environment, examine the viability of migrating to the cloud or transitioning to hyper-converged environments – all of which can be part of a digital transformation strategy. To learn more about the available EcoStruxure IT assessments and the process of getting started, click here.