Techaisle Blog

Insightful research, flexible data, and deep analysis by a global SMB IT Market Research and Industry Analyst organization dedicated to tracking the Future of SMBs and Channels.

Digital Transformation and the future of Reseller channel

The past 15 years have been tough for traditional resellers. Digital transformation will benefit the reseller channel. Today, the IT industry is abuzz with discussion of digital transformation. Unlike smartphones and cloud, however, DX may actually provide upside for traditional channel members. In this document, Techaisle, in its latest white paper argues in favor of the proposition “DX will deliver new opportunity for traditional VAR businesses”. VARs are best positioned to scale “the twin ladders” to deliver digital transformation technology building blocks and the Interwork platform helps the channel position digital transformation initiatives in successfully navigating through and across digital transformation delivery stages.

In many cases, channel organizations that describe digital transformation to prospective clients are really talking about digitization, or some combination of digitization and digitalization. This is particularly true of MSPs or cloud (SaaS, IaaS) suppliers who are positioning their infrastructure management offerings – which are, for the most part, vehicles for augmentation – as a means of achieving DX. However, in its transformational end stages, DX is defined not by supplier delivery but by customer processes and objectives.

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2018 Top 10 SMB and Midmarket Business Issues and IT Challenges and IT Priorities

They are here - Techaisle's annual SMB and Midmarket Top 10 IT Priorities, IT Challenges and Business Issues infographics. This is the 7th year of Techaisle tracking at a WW level and is much sought after by IT vendors, channels and media. There is an ongoing trend – in both the buy-side and supplier communities – towards positioning IT initiatives and expenditures in a business context.

To help readers connect positioning with core market drivers, Techaisle research provides insight into the most pressing business issues, IT priorities and IT challenges faced by small (1-99 employees) and midmarket (100-999 employees) businesses in 2018.

For 2018, Techaisle investigated 21 different technology areas, each with several sub-technology categories, 24 different IT challenges and 24 different business issues. At the request of our clients, this year, not only are we releasing data & infographics (shown below) as usual for SMBs (1-999 employee segment), Midmarket (100-999 employee segment) but also for Small businesses (1-99 employee segment).

In 2018, the new and upcoming IT Priorities within SMBs are Virtual Reality (VR)/Augmented Reality (AR) and Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). Within midmarket firms, Artificial Intelligence (AI) appears for the first time for 2018. Workplace transformation is one of the new top IT challenges for SMBs – number 1 on the list for midmarket firms and overall at number six across all SMBs. This obviously points to a need for unified workspace experience. In addition, Cloud orchestration and integration are among the top five key IT challenges for both SMBs and midmarket firms.

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Dell PCaaS offering differentiating itself with VMware integration

It is understandable that Dell’s PC-as-a-Service offering’s initial target segment is 500+ PC organizations which have sophisticated PC life cycle needs. However, judging by the number of inquiries Techaisle is getting in addition to its most recent survey, there is an untapped potential within the SMB and specifically midmarket segment. If 500+ PC is the cut-off then only 9% of US midmarket firms would qualify. If the threshold is lowered to 250+ PCs then 32% of US midmarket firms would open up as potential target segment. Stretching the statistics to 100+ PCs threshold, the total available market suddenly jumps to 56%. Midmarket is a huge opportunity, and the good thing with midmarket is that it is a whole lot less painful to move 250 to 500 PCs from Windows 7 to Windows 10 than it is to move 150,000. And they are less likely to be having a heterogenous PC environment.

Techaisle research shows that there are three key factors that make PCaaS a compelling value proposition for the midmarket firms.

  1. Alignment with financial objectives with access to latest & advanced PC devices
  2. Access to needed support services freeing up internal IT
  3. Providing better control and manageability

A fourth point key point (a kicker and a key Dell differentiator) is added because of Dell and VMware becoming one company. Techaisle study shows that most midmarket firms are not yet aware about integration with VMware Workspace ONE, an integrated platform powered by VMware AirWatch and its inherent advantages. Because Dell and VMware are one company, Dell has been able to integrate AirWatch, a unified endpoint management technology, and the Dell Client Command Suite and extend PC management capability all the way down into the firmware and BIOS level of Dell PCs. This easily enables a single pane of glass through which IT can push policies, apps, lock-down, wipe and back up data.

Let us drill down into each value proposition and how Dell Technologies is differentiating itself.

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Techaisle midmarket study shows cloud maturity does not always equal high digitization

Techaisle’s US midmarket digital transformation trends study shows that maturity of cloud adoption does not equate to high digitization of the business. Study data shows that only half of the 47% of mature midmarket cloud adopters are holistic adopters of digitalization. It is true that these firms believe in cloud and its effect on digitization but they also believe that true digital transformation requires advanced adoption of multiple technology solutions. Data also shows that the midmarket firms that have a siloed strategy of digital transformation are intermediate adopters of cloud, mostly driven by non-IT business units which need cloud to further their business objectives.

However, it is also clear from data that the Holistic segment includes a disproportionate number of mature cloud adopters, and mature cloud adopters in turn are much more likely to be Holistic in their approach to digitalization than firms in the intermediate category. A smaller (7% of total) third group of midmarket businesses, ‘born in the cloud’ (i.e., have all IT resident in the cloud) largely echo the patterns of the mature cloud users.

From a digitalization product/service marketer’s perspective, this is an important finding: it shows that those who can identify mature cloud adopters are likely to find greater receptivity to their messages and offerings than those that engage equally with the similarly-populous group of intermediate (in terms of cloud adoption) midmarket businesses.

High adoption of diverse technology solutions determines digitalization success

Even considering planned adoption, Siloed midmarket digital segment is likely to remain far behind the Holistic midmarket digital segment. The Siloed segment even lags being in the technology areas which midmarket firms see having the most impact in their business for the next 5 years.

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