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VAR’s and IT Business Transformation


By Justin Fields - November 19, 2018

            The year was 2007.  Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts beat the Chicago Bears, 29-17 in Super bowl XLI (41), The Sopranos series finale aired on HBO (the infamous “cut to black” ending), Barry Bonds breaks Hank Aaron’s HR record with his 756th home run and Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple announces the iPhone – changing mobile computing forever!  
           
Before this evolutionary changing event, mobile phones saw minimal transformation from its early inception in 1973. The visionaries of this time foresaw wireless communication products that would be small enough to use anywhere.  By the early 80’s, the infrastructure to support cellular devices was still in its infancy and only a few mobile phones we in the market.  The DynaTAC 8000X mobile phone was launched in 1983 on the first US 1G network by Ameritech.  It cost $100m to develop and took over 10 years to reach the market.  The lifecycle of mobile devices / cellular phone took years from conception to market.  Each year, the infrastructure and devices became better and more available.


Fast forward to today.  There are more than 7.19 billion mobile devices in the world.  The rapid change of this technology is difficult to keep up with.  In previous years, the lifecycle of the product took so long that it was easier for organization to set a vision for how the product was going to be used, implemented and supported.  Now, that life cycle has rapidly decreased on time.  Organizations are consuming technology at a slower pace than that technology is changing.   There is now a need for rapid adoption of technology.

Technology Adoption of the Past:


Rapid Technology Adoption of Today:


As each organization has a vision.  Technology within that organization should have a vision.  How is technology changing the way consumers view and purchase your product or services? How are your employees utilizing technology to become more efficient in their daily activities?  How is your organization deploying technology to fully recognize the benefits of that technology?
As IT business consultants, we are responsible for helping organization achieve their technology vision… and if they don’t have one, we need to be the ones assisting them in creating that vision. 
The technology business economy of today isn’t that of large dollar hardware purchases followed with professional services to implement.  Consumption economics shows that organizations are spending dollars in a different manner.

Technology Adoption of the Past:

Technology Consumption Today:

Technology is changing at a rapid pace and the way organizations are consuming technology is changing. What are we doing as consultants to assist organizations in this rapid evolution of technology? 

The simple answer is business consulting, IT business consulting to be more specific.  As technology is changing, so is the value added reseller (VAR).  The evolution of the VAR is seeing more transformation now than they had ever seen before.  VAR’s in the late 90’s and early into the 2000’s capitalized on their customers need to build massive infrastructures, obtaining multiple million-dollar deals in one fail swoop.  This trend has significantly decreased over the past 10 years with the introduction of “the cloud.”

Cloud organizations such as AWS, AZURE and Google are again, changing how organizations are consuming technology.  Companies now have the ability to offload their infrastructures to these cloud providers and eliminate their IT staff… in theory. The simple reality of this concept is that only a few business verticals allow for a true “all in” cloud concept.  Most organization need to look at a hybrid-cloud approach to fulfil their business needs.  Going back to the VAR concept, VAR’s are evolving into the IT business consulting space to help these organizations move pieces of their infrastructure into the cloud.

The most successful VAR’s are not just selling products to their customers, they are partnering with them to understand their business and what problems their businesses have.  We now need to understand the detailed functions of business units and understand how they consume technology and guide them down the path to achieve their business goals and vision.     

Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric stated this concept well, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”   VAR’s will continue to evolve and become more strategic with the business to achieve their vision.