Digital transformation acceleration drives cloud spend

Recent research points to a continuation of the enterprise IT projects -- many built on cloud technology -- that emerged in the second half of 2020; more IT channel news.

Digital transformation acceleration continues among channel partners' enterprise customers, with the cloud poised to reach a notable milestone as the focal point of business change.

The COVID-19 pandemic fast-tracked a wave of projects in 2020, with cloud adoption, digital commerce and hybrid work among the key initiatives. That pattern will continue into 2022 and beyond, according to research published this week.

Consider the following:

  • A survey commissioned by Insight Enterprises found that 87% of the 400 senior IT decision-makers polled are pursuing digital transformation. Nine out of 10 respondents said digital transformation has accelerated over the last 18 months.
  • Research from Gartner predicts enterprise IT spending on public cloud computing will surpass investment in traditional IT in 2025. At that point, cloud will represent 51% of the market versus the 41% slice Gartner forecasts for this year. Growth rates in traditional markets will be much lower than in the cloud as companies extend their long-term digital transformation initiatives into 2022, according to the market researcher.
  • Harvard Business School (HBS), meanwhile, suggests that organizations embarking on digital transformation should partner with key ecosystem players to move their projects forward. "Companies can also no longer go it alone, given the speed and capabilities necessary to compete," HBS reported, citing its survey of more than 1,500 senior executives and roundtable discussions.
Juan Orlandini, chief architect, cloud and data center transformation division, InsightJuan Orlandini

Cloud drives transformation

Public cloud adoption propels digital transformation, said Juan Orlandini, chief architect for the cloud and data center transformation division at Insight, a solutions integrator based in Tempe, Ariz. Developers can harness the cloud as a platform to solve business problems in an accelerated fashion.

"Public cloud gives you services you can develop against quickly," Orlandini said.

While the cloud provides the tailwind for advancing transformation, the skills shortage headwind impedes progress, he added. On a given project, an organization may need to understand the on-premises side of IT and also have expertise in a set of cloud providers. Orlandini called that mix of skills a tall order.

Indeed, 44% of the respondents to Insight's survey, conducted by IDG Research Services, cited skills or knowledge gaps as the No. 1 restraint on innovation. Labor constraints -- a hurdle for expanding digital transformation -- could increase demand for partners that can supplement businesses' in-house IT staff.

Ed Anderson, research vice president, GartnerEd Anderson

Integration, agility drives cloud shift

Partners can expect the majority of that demand to stem from the cloud, if spending unfolds as Gartner predicts. The company said its 2025 spending outlook applies to the cloud-addressable market -- namely application software, infrastructure software, business process services and system infrastructure.

Customer interest in integration capabilities, agile work processes and composable architecture will tip the IT spending scale in favor of cloud, according to Gartner. Integration is the task of making all of an organization's IT resources work together, said Ed Anderson, research vice president at Gartner.

"As cloud shift increases and as cloud becomes a bigger part of the way organizations operate, there will be increasing needs to integrate across cloud systems and across cloud and noncloud systems," Anderson said. The scope of integration includes applications, data, management, operating processes and security, among other factors, he noted.

Partner roster updates

  • Accenture has invested in marketing platform SwayBrand, marking the consultancy's first startup transaction in North America through its Black Founders Development Program. SwayBrand, based in Los Angeles, lets brands collaborate with multicultural creators to develop content for diverse audiences. Accenture's Black Founders Development Program aims to help Black technology startup entrepreneurs grow their businesses, offering access to venture capital, corporate mentorship, and Accenture's business partners and clients.
  • NTT Ltd., a technology services provider in London, is partnering with ServiceNow to boost the adoption of private 5G through an AI-based workflow automation platform. NTT said the companies' offerings will streamline customers' deployment and integration of private 5G.
  • D&H Distributing, a distributor based in Harrisburg, Pa., inked an agreement with Yealink Network Technology Co. Ltd. to carry that vendor's unified communications offerings. The deal includes Yealink video conferencing devices, webcams, telephony hardware and Bluetooth headsets.

Partner program launches and updates

  • Dell Technologies moved to simplify its partner program in a series of updates. The changes provide a single incentive structure with regional rebates across the program's Solution Provider, Cloud Service Provider and OEM partner categories. Dell channel executives last year pointed to increasingly blurred lines among partner types at the company's Dell Technologies World conference.
  • NetWitness, a network security company in Bedford, Mass., introduced its redesigned partner program for resellers, distributors and managed security service providers who help improve customers' threat detection and response. The program includes streamlined operations, expanded technical training and partner marketing resources. The company has also added product demonstration and trial options of its platform, and simplified how partners work with NetWitness.
  • Vultr, a cloud infrastructure provider headquartered in West Palm Beach, Fla., rolled out general availability of its partner program for MSPs, resellers and tech innovators. The program offers cloud compute and storage, packaging ready-made for channel partners with annual SKUs, and features including virtual private cloud and direct connect. Partners can build value-added and managed services on top of Vultr's platform.

Other news

  • Anexinet Corp., a digital business solutions provider based in Philadelphia, has merged with Veristor Systems Inc. in Atlanta. Veristor provides managed services, security services and data center offerings including enterprise storage. Veristor expanded its storage-as-a-service business last year. The Veristor deal follows Anexinet's acquisition of SereneIT in 2020 and Light Networks in 2021.
  • IT service provider InterVision, headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., and in St. Louis, introduced its ransomware-protection-as-a-service offering to help SMBs detect and address ransomware attacks. The service aims to create comprehensive security coverage by combining security operations, disaster recovery and backup, and security strategy advising from a virtual chief information security officer (CISO).
  • Digital Intelligence Systems, a technology services firm based in McLean, Va., rolled out a healthcare offering that automates compliance workflows and data management in pharmacovigilance operations. The company's PVAutomate brings together robotic process automation, analytics, intelligent character recognition and AI, according to the company.
  • Pythian Services Inc., a cloud, data and analytics services company based in Ottawa, has renewed its Machine Learning Partner Specialization in the Google Cloud Partner Advantage Program.

Executive appointments

  • ConnectWise, a Tampa, Fla., company that makes software for MSPs, has appointed four general managers to lead new business units and hired a CISO. Here's the updated executive lineup:
    • Jake Varghese, general manager of the company's business management unit, was previously general manager at Tanium.
    • Ameer Karim, general manager of the unified monitoring and management unit, joins ConnectWise from Absolute Software, where he was executive vice president of product management.
    • Raffael Marty, general manager of the cybersecurity unit, has been with ConnectWise for seven months, leading cybersecurity products.
    • Jeff Bishop, general manager of the Asio platform unit, was previously ConnectWise's chief product officer.
    • Patrick Beggs, CISO, joins ConnectWise from Cognizant, where he was global cybersecurity operations executive.
  • Securiti Inc., a multi-cloud data privacy company in San Jose, Calif., appointed Mathias Wilder as vice president for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. He was previously vice president of EMEA for Palo Alto Networks' SD-WAN secure access service edge product line. Nigel Hawthorn will lead marketing in Securiti's EMEA region, joining the company from McAfee.
  • Aqua Security Software Ltd., a cloud-native security company based in Boston, appointed Jeannette Lee Heung as senior director of global channels. She joins Aqua from Palo Alto Networks, where she developed that company's Prisma Cloud global ecosystems strategy.

Additional reporting by Kristen Gloss.

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