I recently saw a great quote that serves as a testament to the digital evolution we all are experiencing. It eloquently articulated what I have come to believe about advancements in technology and the expectations created by the rapidity of their advancements. “The only thing advancing faster than technology is consumer expectation.”With new players and entrants redefining industries, keeping up with consumer expectations is a necessity for those companies our customers support. Simply having an awareness of who your consumers are is no longer enough. While our tactical value may be in supplying our customers with leading-edge products, services and solutions, our strategic value provides them with the expertise necessary to best leverage technology, creating unique value by capturing their consumers’ information and actions to deliver better outcomes. Utilizing next-generation technology and analyzing data is the key to enabling companies to make better decisions, reduce risk, provide better services, and deliver tailored –personalized– customer experiences.
The Amazon Effect
As consumers, we are impatient. While our needs may vary, the technology requirements for fulfilling them are often looked upon with immediacy and a never-ending sense of urgency. The mindset is an expectation that the companies purchased from, know me. They anticipate my needs by knowing what I want, how I want it and when I want it. Known as the Amazon effect, it involves finding exactly what I’m looking for online, purchasing it and arranging its delivery. In short, it’s access to services whenever and wherever with the click of a button. Illustrating this is Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods. Upon acquiring the grocery chain, Amazon had to rethink its fulfillment strategy. It involved the utilization of Whole Foods’ brick and mortar business model and then creating a frictionless experience using Amazon’s technology and service concept. Just as Amazon single handedly, brick-by-brick, dismantled the neighborhood bookstore, so too has their success with Whole Foods forever changed the grocery business. As demonstrated, consumer preferences and expectations are changing the way companies operate. Digital transformation is a top priority for every industry; from the patient healthcare experience to the client services experience, to the customer fulfillment experience; relationships in the delivery, speed and quality in the exchange of goods and services, are changing.
Staying Relevant Means Adapting to Change
Technology is evolving at an exponential rate with no signs of it slowing down anytime soon. Staying relevant in today’s IT landscape means adapting quickly as technology evolves. By 2021, at least 50 percent of all global gross domestic product (GDP) will be digitized, with growth in every industry driven by digitally-enhanced offerings, operations, and relationships[i]. Software also is at the heart of next-generation technologies like cloud and analytics; they, along with mobility and social media, are already driving approximately three-quarters of IT spending and show no signs of slowing down[ii]. As the complexity of data gathering, storage, processing and utilization continues to grow, so too do the challenges of managing, sharing, securing, and interpreting the data in ways that still make the data useful. Addressing these challenges by effectively fulfilling these changing demands represents a tremendous opportunity for the channel.
As a part of the digital transformation taking place to keep up with consumer expectations, there is a shift in technology spending from IT to the line of business (LOB). According to IDC, in 2019, technology spending by LOB decision makers will overtake technology spending by IT departments. With its focus on vertical markets, this shift is an opportunity for resellers to leverage Tech Data as trusted advisor to provide additional value to their customers
Tech Data Can Help You Help Your Customers Navigate the Change
So, how do you help your clients transform? First, you must understand your customers – their industry, business priorities, and challenges, as well as how technology can facilitate the outcomes they seek. Tech Data’s vertical team specializes in helping customers connect their offerings to their desired outcomes, enabling greater relevance and strategic conversations with LOB buyers. In short, we help our resellers be more vertically specialized and, more strategic.
Supporting our channel partners, Tech Data’s Vertical Solutions University is a unique, face-to-face training experience designed to:
- Provide highly-interactive discussions with industry veteran consultants
- Enhance your understanding of the industries and key functions into which you sell
- Expand your reach from the IT buyer to the business technology buyer
- Enable you to sell according to business needs and outcomes rather than by technology
The future will be built on next-generation technologies and delivery models like cloud, analytics, security and the services that support them – we can show you where the entry points are for next-generation technologies.
Click here to learn more and register for Tech Data’s Vertical Solutions University.
About the Author
Lisa McGarvey is a Specialist Solutions and Vertical Market manager for Tech Data, as well as a champion for solution selling, focusing on business needs and digital transformation. Lisa is responsible for the strategic direction and growth of customers through Tech Data’s Practice Builder™ methodology, which includes the development and execution of business plans for resellers and vendors focused on driving emerging technologies within vertical industries.
[i] Source: IDC, DOC #PRUS43185317 / Oct. 31, 2017
[ii] Source: IDC, Worldwide Black Book, November 2017