Digital transformation is a nebulous concept, but it presents special opportunities for managed IT services providers because they are enablers of digital transformation technologies and service models.

Christopher Tozzi, Contributing Editor

November 22, 2017

2 Min Read
Woman with Digitized concept for Transformation
woman who looks various graphics of business. Internet of Things. Information Communication Technology. Digital transformation. Abstract mixed media.

“Digital transformation” is one of the most confounding buzzwords in IT today.

However, it is a concept that MSPs need to master.

Here’s what digital transformation means for MSPs and how it can benefit their businesses.

I’ve always thought digital transformation was a strange concept because it’s a newish term for an idea that is very old.

Digital transformation has become a popular term in just the past couple of years.

If — like most people — you define digital transformation as the use of new technologies to update the way your business runs, the term doesn’t describe anything very novel or innovative.

Businesses have been embracing computers and digital technology as a source of innovation for decades.

It’s not as if it has only been in the past couple of years that people suddenly began realizing that digital innovation is good.

Digital Transformation and MSPs

Still, even if you think of digital transformation as a rather silly term, you have to play the digital transformation game if you’re an MSP.

Playing the game means staying on top of the latest digital technologies — such as containers, serverless computing and advanced cloud architectures.

It also means understanding the value of these technologies, educating clients about them and — most important of all — helping to implement them.

After all, MSPs have a unique role to play in the digital transformation trend. For many businesses, MSPs are the enablers of digital transformation.

If a business lacks the in-house expertise to implement a new technology, MSPs can offer that technology as a service.

In this respect, the current vogue surrounding digital transformation presents an opportunity for MSPs.

Pitching Managed Services as a Digital Transformation Strategy

MSPs also face an opportunity in that managed services themselves — no matter which types of technologies they entail — can be seen as an enabler of digital transformation.

In other words, MSPs can make the case that digital transformation is not simply about adopting new technologies.

It also involves embracing new processes and architectures that allow businesses to make more effective use of technology, including consuming technologies as a service.

This is an important point for MSPs to make to businesses seeking to achieve digital transformation. While the managed services concept is certainly not new, it has renewed relevance within the context of digital transformation.


If, like me, you think that digital transformation is kind of a silly term, more power to you.

That doesn’t mean you can’t leverage it to help you advance in the managed services world — or to deliver real value to your clients by providing the technologies and service models they need to enable their own digital transformations.

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About the Author(s)

Christopher Tozzi

Contributing Editor

Christopher Tozzi started covering the channel for The VAR Guy on a freelance basis in 2008, with an emphasis on open source, Linux, virtualization, SDN, containers, data storage and related topics. He also teaches history at a major university in Washington, D.C. He occasionally combines these interests by writing about the history of software. His book on this topic, “For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution,” is forthcoming with MIT Press.

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