New Dell Study Points Channel to C-Suite
Might Dell (NASDAQ; DELL) be urging its channel partners to engage a little more with the C-suite?
In a new piece of research, executed by The Economist Intelligence Unit and underwritten by Dell Services, a majority of C-suite executives expect their IT functions will undergo a wholesale transformation in the next three years, driven by tectonic shifts in the industry such as Big Data, cloud computing and mobility.
The report, “The C-suite Challenges IT: New Expectations for Business Value,” is the product of some 536 interviews with C-suite executives worldwide. Of the respondents, more than 70 percent expect major changes in their IT functions in the next three years, with a few (12 percent) anticipating a “major overhaul.”
One of the more startling pieces of data from the study is that more than four in 10 believe that their company ultimately will deploy IT as a commodity service bought on demand.
“The study highlights the challenge is no longer about technology,” said Matthew Mikell, a Dell senior advisor and cloud evangelist in a blog post. “As IT functions become easily copied and commercialized, they are seen as a commodity. In every line of business, there is the ‘tip of the iceberg’ that delivers innovation, and the portion pulling it under. IT needs to climb to the tip.”
This is where channel partners could come into play, particularly as trusted advisers to help craft business strategy surrounding IT. Consider that in the formulation of IT strategy, one in six CIOs either have no role at all or are merely consulted, according to the report, yet of those companies where the CIO was involved in setting business strategy, 47 percent said their outfit financially overmatched the competition.
“The impact of these technology trends will not be limited to the IT function,” the report states. “They create opportunities for companies to develop innovative products and services, to connect with customers in new ways, and to rethink traditional business processes.”
It’s exactly in these types of environments — industry shifts that yield new products, unique paths to engage customers and ways to conduct business — that service-oriented channel partners thrive. You’d figure that Dell knows that.
Chief among the study’s recommendations? By empowering, rather than limiting the CIO, businesses open the opportunity for the CIO’s role to evolve to adding value to IT. Now that’s something channel partners can work with.