IT decision makers turn to third-party partners, including tech consultants and advisors, for help picking solutions 84% of the time, according to the study.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

April 3, 2024

4 Min Read
Trusted advisors

The majority of businesses already have started a journey away from legacy technology systems, but that journey is far from over for most.

That insight comes from Avant's new State of Disruption Report. Avant in its survey of 501 IT decision makers found that most companies have started a "digital transformation journey." An overwhelming amount – 92% – say they already have a plan in place. Manufacturing, construction/engineering, high tech and financial services led the way with their ambition, but the numbers are high across the board.

But a different number comes out for the actual execution of those plans. For companies larger than $1 billion in revenue, only 28% said they have completely finished their plan.

Fascinatingly, 100% completion rates drop to their lowest in the middle of the study's customer segments: $100 million-$500 million. The smallest segment – $1 million-$10 million – had the highest completion rates, but also the largest gaps.

The report found that 80% of companies will have evaluated unified-communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) platforms by the end of 2024. But the current migration away from legacy PBX systems to UCaaS stands at a 60% completion rate.

The study concluded that contact center as a service (CCaaS) will grow the fastest in financial services and retail/e-commerce. Moreover, the $50 million-$100 million revenue range reported on average an anticipated 11% growth CCaaS seats over the next year.

Turning to Trusted Advisors

As businesses move to new technology platforms, they're increasingly recognizing their limitations in selecting and adopting the solutions.

Avant's report found that that 34% of IT decision-makers considered their internal teams "somewhat qualified to unqualified to plan, manage, optimize and troubleshoot the full range of their IT infrastructure."

That number was 40% last year.

Avant chief strategy officer Alex Danyluk said customers are trying to evaluate an increasingly complex and fragmented technology landscape that is outpacing their own knowledge.


“It's the complexity of the solutions, and they're evolving so quickly. The vendors they choose are not always going to the big brand names anymore. It's going to be providers that you probably haven't heard of before that are the best solutions for you today. And there's no way an IT executive who’s maybe making a purchasing decision once every several years is ever going keep up with that stuff," Danyluk told Channel Futures.

Eighty-four percent of respondents reported turning to a trusted advisor for their technology selection. Avant in its report defines a trusted advisor as an agent, managed service provider, consultant or specialized channel partner. Avant as a technology services distributor works with these different business types in an agent model.

IT decision-makers most frequently used trusted advisors for cloud-based computer services (78%), including infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and public cloud. Cybersecurity was the second most common tech category where an advisor played a role (68%). Then came data network infrastructure (including WAN) at 62% and SaaS applications (58%). Unified communications trailed with 44% of decision makers using a trusted advisor, and data center colocation came in last at 41%.

Some IT buyers see the inherent risk in not using a technology advisor. In the case of cybersecurity, 69% of respondents indicated concern about a data breach causing them to lose their jobs.

In other cases, commodification has made it more feasible for a IT decision maker to evaluate certain products on their own.

“More than two-thirds are looking for help in picking their security solutions. Whereas with data centers it's 'ping, pipe and power,'" Danyluk said. "And unified communications is starting to hit the latter part of the hype curve where it’s getting into more standard services.”

For 44% of businesses that used a trusted advisor, the partner made recommendations for technology, while the company's internal teams made strategic decisions. Second most commonly (21%), internal teams vetted recommendations from trusted advisors.

And fascinatingly, 19% of the time the trusted advisor handled "all technology decisions and functions" for the client. That number jumped up from 16% in Avant's report last year.


Just as IT executives struggle to keep up with the fragmented tech landscape, mainstream tech research firms have gaps in measuring the state of disruption, Danyluk said. For one, the big leaderboards and white papers from the analyst firms often don't include the smaller players that end users consider.

Moreover, Danyluk said market research traditionally focuses on things like total addressable market.

“Forrester and Gartner don't do this type of thing. They're doing more revenue-based studies or feature studies, because the vendors are paying to say, 'How do I build a business case for this?' Well, this isn't about the vendor business case to justify product investment," Danyluk said. "This is about the end-user motivation and the status of a customer IT disruption so that customer can compare themselves to their digital twins. And no one else that I know is looking at it from that angle.”

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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