Digital transformation is one of today’s most discussed issues in business. While it’s erroneously perceived by some as an overused industry buzzword, it is very much a reality, and is impacting all companies in one way or another – with some thriving thanks to the innovation it enables, but some still grappling with how to adopt the necessary infrastructure to support it. 

The COVID-19 outbreak and the measures implemented to contain it have forced a huge chunk of the globe’s population to work from home, complicating network traffic and causing a boom in the use of cloud and new applications. This has exacerbated some of the difficulties businesses encounter on the journey to digitalisation, making network visibility, monitoring and performance more crucial than ever before. With so many businesses impacted financially, their focus has inevitably shifted away from innovation and closer to optimisation. That being said, the agility and efficiency that stem from a digitally-savvy approach can empower companies to make the most of their current resources and stay afloat in this difficult climate. Moreover, with remote working the new norm, businesses that don’t have a sound digital strategy in place and are unable to facilitate telecommuting and virtual collaboration risk seeing their productivity take a hard hit.

To successfully navigate these challenges, organisations require not only the right technology but also the right partners on their side.

Crucial support at a testing time

With overstretched resources and profit margins thinning, it’s no surprise companies’ aim is to work to a lean business model. This means minimising costs wherever possible. As a consequence, the pressure is on all partners and providers to prove their services are essential. While the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered the commercial landscape, digitally-powered speed and efficiency remain vital for a business to stay competitive – so a partner that works as an enabler of digital innovation is a partner any company should want to keep in the long term.

At the foundation of optimisation and improvement is sound network visibility. Enterprise networks are morphing into increasingly intricate beasts, spanning across on-prem, cloud and hybrid infrastructures, now further complicated by the sudden surge in remote workers. Thorough monitoring and analysis of all network traffic and tools is the only way to enhance network performance and increase business uptime – that’s why, to fast-track their customers’ digital evolution, partners should enable the implementation of network monitoring technology. Only through clear network visibility can companies gather valuable insight on system and application interdependencies; crucial to predict when an issue may occur, pinpoint opportunities for improvement and identify faster ways of working.

Security also plays a key role in ensuring efficiency – Gartner predicted that 60% of digital businesses would suffer major service failures this year due to security lapses. Partners should also be considering how to help customers stay secure in these uncertain times, leveraging tools they already have.

Right now, vulnerabilities are exacerbated by malicious actors looking to lure in users with information on COVID-19 with the aim of compromising their accounts. Channel partners should work to empower their customers to enhance protection with solutions that can detect, track and dismantle a hacker’s attack.

Successful digital transformation is not just about adopting flashy new tools – it’s also about abandoning antiquated processes and removing blind spots in the network, so that hybrid infrastructures can stay secure, mitigating risk. While sourcing and implementing the right solutions is fundamental, partners need to go the extra mile and demonstrate their business awareness – as well as their tech knowledge – to help customers modernise their operations to ensure efficiency and security.

All of these efforts combined will in turn benefit partners themselves – guiding companies on their way to digital success can make a world of difference in terms of nurturing the relationship as, if these projects are successful, customers are likely to come back for more.

The role of cloud

If partners are to remain successful in this uncertain time, they must act as digital specialists and provide their customers with practical advice on how to evolve and adapt to the current situation. Cloud technology has always been a focal point of digitalisation efforts – the flexibility and scalability it enables are crucial to longevity and improvement. It so happens that this technology has found new relevance in today’s commercial and workplace landscape. With around 20 million UK employees now working from home, companies will increasingly rely on cloud to facilitate file sharing and cooperation. As partners work more and more as managed service providers, they must take this opportunity to support their customers through cloud migration, or guide them as they increase their cloud adoption to enable productivity and efficiency for their home workers.

The current economic recession is causing customer demand to fluctuate. As a consequence, businesses are having to change their approach, reassess budgets and make adjustments to their workforce to ensure resources are optimised. Cloud technology is synonymous with agility and has the potential to simplify this process and prevent companies from incurring losses.

Digital transformation is something all organisations are aware they have to undergo. While many understand its importance and know they risk getting left behind if they don’t evolve, the idea of rewiring their entire strategy is intimidating to say the least, even more so in the current climate. However, COVID-19 can act as a catalyst for positive change, as more and more companies embrace virtual, cloud-powered collaboration. As improvement and optimisation are only possible with a thorough understanding of how their systems run, network visibility is critical. It’s up to channel partners to facilitate this journey and help propel their customers to digital success.