IT services partners are expected to become increasingly critical to enterprises’ digital transformation efforts well beyond the disruptions caused by COVID-19 and the resulting rush to new tech, with the market set to see even more accelerated cloud adoption this year.
The onset of the pandemic saw organisations rush to adopt new technology aimed at supporting the sudden shift to remote work that hit much of the market early last year. And while that initial rush has well and truly waned, a longer-term pipeline of accelerated digital transformation activity is emerging.
This is according to Evan Woollacott, senior analyst at Technology Business Research (TBR), who suggests that while the initial pandemic-prompted tech rush to new tech worked to boost the importance of both internal and external IT resources, the long-term need for such services is set to cement the critical role of IT partners into the future.
"Enterprises needed to rapidly shift operations to the cloud to support remote workforces, increasing the value of service arms and IT services partners to mitigate client risk in the form of cloud road-mapping, migration and implementation services,” Woollacott said.
“In the long term, internal service capabilities and IT services partners will become critical to enabling enterprises’ digital transformations, particularly as front-office cloud deployments mature and as clients explore migrating more customised environments like ERP to cloud or pursue industry-based solution deployments in highly regulated industries like healthcare and the public sector,” he added.
To back his claim, Woollacott draws upon TBR research showing that the bulk of enterprises are employing a best-of-breed approach to the development of their cloud IT architectures, with at least 42 per cent of individuals surveyed by the research firm stating that they currently use three or more software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendors.
As a result, the analyst suggests, application vendors have been driving alliance activity with infrastructure providers to give clients more flexibility around how they consume cloud.
“While best-of-breed IT will remain prevalent, cloud players have increasingly driven investments to tighten the integrations of complementary suites to expand share of client wallet by enabling multi product deals, a tactic that has been effectively employed by Salesforce and Microsoft in 2020,” he said in a blog post.
Moreover, Woollacott reckons that cloud players aim to accelerate the proliferation of their intellectual property (IP) by employing industry-based go-to-market capabilities to provide clients with prebuilt data models that alleviate concerns around data compliance and governance.
“This tactic aligns with clients’ needs, as 51 per cent of respondents who deployed industry solutions cited compliance and regulatory standards as a key benefit,” he said. “To strengthen the value of industry clouds to clients, vendors are offering prebuilt integrations with leading data providers, such as Microsoft’s integrations with electronic health record providers through Cloud for Healthcare.
“These types of integrations will be critical to accelerating client time to value, while ensuring the integrity of data by meeting industry-specific regulations,” he added.