​Dimension Data throws down digital gauntlet to Kiwi businesses

​Dimension Data throws down digital gauntlet to Kiwi businesses

IT support staff are spending more time on service requests and issue resolution than innovation.

Dimension Data has challenged businesses across New Zealand to take digital transformation more seriously, as innovation strategies continue to stutter across the country.

According to recent findings, IT operations staff are spending over 30 per cent of their time on new service requests and supporting issue resolution, while only 15 per cent of their time is allocated to innovation.

Representing a 25 per cent year-on-year decline, the drop comes just as the demand to capitalise on improving customer engagement, adopting the Internet of Things (IoT), and leveraging the use of big data and data analytics is making IT innovation a non-negotiable within organisations.

As a result, in New Zealand, the message is clear for Kiwi businesses - enterprises that don’t evolve their IT business models could miss future market opportunities.

“This is an all too common occurrence for New Zealand organisations,” Dimension Data New Zealand Digital Practice Lead, Steve Wotten, observed.

“The New Zealand market has that Kiwi approach, when it comes to IT, that they can do it better themselves and at a lower cost.”

Yet for Wotten - in leading the newly established digital practice at Dimension Data in New Zealand - a harsh reality remains, in that not many Kiwi companies can do this well while still finding time to innovate and plan for the future.

“We are seeing organisations deploy a multitude of different toolsets without looking at how they integrate together,” he explained.

“This means they are seldom getting the full picture of how their business is performing. They are asking ‘did my customer have a good experience,’ in the past tense and too late if they didn’t instead of, ‘is my customer getting a great experience,’ in real-time and with the ability to change the outcome.”

While this sort of approach can be fine in the short term, Wotten said organisations are increasingly realising it is preventing them from reaching peak performance.

“New Zealand businesses need to take a cohesive approach to their IT and will need to embrace trends such as automation if they are to stay competitive, both on a local and global level,” he added.

According to findings, only 20 per cent of organisations claim they’ve fully automated and optimised internal infrastructure, while the majority are on a path to automation, but haven’t reached their goal.

Findings show that nine per cent of organisations have no automation, 13 per cent have limited automation, 32 per cent have a medium level of automation and orchestration while 25 per cent are highly automated.

“Savvy IT organisations understand that if they don’t focus on efficiencies today could miss the greater market opportunities of the future,” Dimension Data Group Executive for Services, Bill Padfield, added.

“Dimension Data’s automation and orchestration skills put more processes and business activities into ‘business as usual’ for our clients.

“They require fewer resources, and they’re able to spend more time focusing on staying competitive, innovating new sources of value, engaging with customers on their channels of choice, and exploiting their data to optimise operations.”

Over the past decade, Padfield said technology has delivered consistent efficiencies: from saving costs to redeploying labour, contributing to leaner operations, and meeting shareholder expectations.

However, with the rise of the digital era, efficiency on its own is no longer sufficient.

Consequently, Padfield said IT operations must support the execution of new digital business initiatives, and deliver a consistently high-availability IT infrastructure that meets end-user demand.

“This requires sustainable IT optimisation that delivers better service level agreements (SLAs), greater efficiencies, and higher performing infrastructure while minimising downtime risks,” he explained.

“But freeing up resources for innovation remains a challenge.”

Businesses underprepared

While organisations know they must evolve their IT operations to be more strategic and less tactical, most in-house IT and development teams are still struggling to keep up.

As reported by Reseller News, one third of enterprises globally are underprepared for the wave of digital transformation impacting the industry, creating new demand for channel partners as C-level strategies screech to a halt.

Findings from Ovum’s ICT Enterprise Insights for 2017 - spanning 7,000 enterprise organisations across 62 countries and 15 industries - report that 33 per cent of businesses remain challenged by the process of replacing legacy networks and dedicated service platforms with a coherent digital environment.

Within this new environment, businesses across the world - with New Zealand included - are becoming blocked in the quest to create flexible and cost-effective systems, systems that are capable of delivering changes rapidly and dynamically.

In addition, research shows that while 60 per cent of organisation’s believe their process of digital transformation is “well advanced” or “in progress,” only seven per cent believe it to be complete.

From a partner perspective, 90 per cent of organisations claim to have a digital strategy in place, but once again, have failed to advance past preliminary stages of development.

“The uneven maturity of digital transformation by industry and country has created a complex landscape for sales teams to navigate,” Ovum director of IT, data and tools, Daniel Mayo, told Reseller News.

Consequently, the channel can capitalise on the immaturity and complexity of the digital transition, assisting organisations currently at a transformation crossroads.

“Successful digital transformation requires the right mix of people, processes, and tools,” Padfield added.

“However, IT service automation platforms are expensive and time consuming to develop and successfully integrate into hybrid IT environments.”

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