Businesses today are under immense pressure to implement some form of digital transformation.

By Val Moodley, head of strategic partnerships at BT in Africa

In fact, those who don’t transform their organisations successfully in the digital era risk becoming redundant.

The rapid move to digital has certainly opened incredible opportunity for channel businesses to capitalise – and form partnerships to drive channel business growth. But, what constitutes a sustainable partnership in a world where technology can be so complex?

CIOs don’t necessarily want to be the first to try anything new. At the same time, they also don’t want to be last.

Although trust in technology takes time to build, most CIOs are told that when selecting a technology partner for their digital transformation strategy, they should pick one that’s been around the block a few times – a partner who they can depend on in the future.

While it’s very rare to achieve great things alone, especially in business, channel businesses seeking to become those “partners of choice” must take their own partnership agreements into consideration.

This means only forming alliances with technology experts that truly understand the digital transformation process, the technology behind reaching true digital potential and the security needed to get digital right.

Over and above this, these providers need to be able to support the channels’ business growth cycle long after the sale has taken place and to promote trust in technology investment.


Enablement – a key ingredient for suitable growth

What good is a sale if the end-user cannot be supported along their digital journey? Training and skills development is therefore key.

However, this must involve broader training and not just technical related training.

The technology industry is evolving at a pace that is difficult to keep abreast of. Trends not only shape the future of digital, but impact the type of technology businesses need for their own future progress.

A channel partner who can see businesses through their digital transformation, will achieve sustainable growth.


Best practice sharing

Sharing key insights into best practice methods, looking at where something was done before, how and why it worked/did not work and why it would be relevant here, is important.

The channel should be seeking to partner with providers who offer this, as it not only elevates their business, but can result in end users leapfrogging ahead in their digital transitions.


Global partnerships for end-to-end solutions

Gaps can occur at any stage along a digital transition. Sustainable growth requires a channel business to plug the gap and provide a solution that doesn’t leave the customer “stranded” on the digital path.

Partners who partner up with each other to close a possible gap that may be present will offer the customer a dependable and effective end-to-end solution needed.

Collaboration with the right and trusted organisations is vital, especially in today’s digital world.

By doing this, channel businesses can deliver a full end-to-end service to customers – taking away the headache of having to deal with multiple suppliers and budgets and removing the complexity associated with technology investment.

Forming strategic partnerships should not be about price – rather, it is about quality, delivery, support and partnering correctly to create a “win-win” situation, more possibilities for customers and sustainable shared growth for all partners for the future.