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What Digital Transformation Means to Me - An EMEA Perspective

Posted by Tech Data Europe on Jan 23, 2018 1:33:15 PM

What does digital transformation mean to you? The answer to this question will likely vary dramatically depending on who you ask. We posed this question to a number of our EMEA employees in a blog series called, "What Digital Transformation Means to Me." It explores these responses and gives insight into the evolving digital landscape. We hope you enjoy these different perspectives on digital transformation.

Constant Innovation Will Be Key to Success in the Cloud Era
David Newbould, Director, Cloud - Europe at Tech Data

Digital transformation is happening now, and it is happening fast. The cloud has lowered barriers to entry, made it easier to access advanced technologies such as cognitive computing, artificial intelligence, analytics and IoT, and accelerated development. It’s suddenly possible to do much more with much less.

With every wave of technological development, we see a corresponding wave-form in the average company lifespan. As new solutions and ways of working emerge, so do new businesses. Companies can go from start-up to becoming massive a gl0bal success much sooner. But they can also be left behind by more innovative newcomers.

Cloud has shifted us up another gear. All systems are now being digitised and organisations are becoming entirely dependent on the cloud. It is a true and permanent transformation, and there will be no going back.

Advanced technologies are available to developers all over the world at a fraction of what they might have cost in the past. Just about anyone can enter any market, very quickly and cheaply. They can make their services available everywhere and grow at a phenomenal rate.

The only way to survive in this constantly changing and fast-flowing environment will be to innovate, constantly and relentlessly. In the digitally transformed era, it will be the companies that are investing the most in new ideas and technologies, that are seen as the best bets.

Meeting the Need for Digital Speed
Dwayne Earl, Software Business Unit Manager at Tech Data UK

To me, digital transformation is all about speed. In business today, everything happens faster. As we are constantly in touch and able to access apps and data wherever we are, organisations, departments, and individuals are expected to be agile and able to respond to change almost instantly. 

To do that, we’ve been using technology to reconfigure and even reinvent working processes. We are building new structures and applications that can feed off multiple sources of data, analysing and interpreting what it all means, and communicating that to us in a meaningful, actionable way. The cloud has enabled and accelerated the pace and depth of this process of change. 

At work and in our personal lives, we expect immediacy. Emerging transformational technologies, such as business intelligence and analytics, are being made more accessible and affordable by the cloud, and thus enabling further transformation and greater agility. That’s fueling the expectation that we can all react, perform tasks and deliver results faster.

That in turn, is driving the need within the IT industry to develop applications and services that will enable even quicker, more incisive and intelligent responses.  In the future, being able to provide solutions that enable faster and better analysis and interpretation of data will be key to differentiating your business.

For end-user customers and channel partners, there is no choice but to keep up with the pace. The cloud enables us to bring more information from different sources together; new apps and technologies give us the ability to interpret and derive meaning from it. We must all rise to meet expectations.

The increase in digital speed means that customers will have higher expectations and become ever-more demanding. Solutions and services providers will consequently need to be much agiler and capable in new areas, such as cognitive computing, AI, analytics and business intelligence. They will need to develop new approaches and capabilities to meet customer needs as the pace of change gets even faster.

Why Partnerships Will Be Key to Success with IoT
Victor Paradell, VP of IoT Solutions and Analytics, EMEA at Tech Data

First, it provides organizations with the potential of using next-generation technologies, such as smart devices and sensors, to modernize their working practices.

Second, digital transformation is fuelling the surge of IoT devices arriving in the marketplace. The availability of ever-more-versatile and capable devices is what makes it possible to conceptualize and introduce new processes and methods. Companies are starting to look at the potential and making serious investments. IDC estimates that spending on IoT devices and services will be $800 billion worldwide this year, and will reach $1.4 trillion in 2021.

Third, digital transformation is compelling channel businesses – systems integrators, VARs, solutions providers, cloud services companies – to reassess their position and strategy, and to seek out partners who can help them address the huge potential of IoT.

Delivering and supporting IoT solutions that enable transformation will require expertise in the vertical industry sector as well as the technology itself.  With transformational IoT projects, you need to have an in-depth appreciation of both the IT systems and the specific operational function being addressed – and there needs to be a clear focus on business outcomes.

But equally, you will also need to be capable of delivering solutions that reach out to the very edge of the environment and connect all devices, applications, and services in a fully integrated ecosystem. The cloud is an essential element of any transformational solution that involves IoT devices. 

The benefits to be gained by end-user organizations through the digitization of processes is enormous, both in terms of cost-savings and efficiency gains. But if they are to deliver the full benefits, IT partners, systems integrators and VARs will need to work with other organizations that have a deep and complementary knowledge and capabilities in vertical markets.

Those who can do this and work with partners to build and deploy effective, secure, manageable solutions that will meet both the operational and IT needs of customers and deliver the transformational potential of IoT, will be the ones who succeed and benefit the most from the tremendous growth anticipated for this rapidly-developing area of technology.

For more information about how you can leverage digital transformation with your customers, contact your Tech Data representative today.

Tags: IoT, cloud, digital transformation