MetTel Survey: Enterprises Focused On AI, Analytics In Digital Transformation

MetTel recently polled CIOs and other key decision makers from their enterprise customer base on digital transformation priorities.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

May 4, 2018

3 Min Read
artificial intelligence focus

Artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics are the top technologies enterprises are interested in as they pursue digital transformation (DX), according to a new survey by MetTel of enterprise customer IT priorities.

The company recently polled CIOs and other key decision-makers from their enterprise customer base about their thoughts/priorities with DX. Among the findings: 64 percent said AI and analytics top their list, followed by 55 percent saying that networking and hyperconnectivity offerings, such as SD-WAN, are of interest.

Some 43 percent plan on leveraging AI as part of their overall DX strategy within the next year, with 17 percent planning on doing so in the next three years. When it comes to security, 33 percent consider malicious use of AI to be the greatest threat to their organization. Yet, 54 percent said they are not sure when they will be able to prioritize the resources needed for autonomous and intelligent security.

Dave Mitchell, MetTel’s vice president of agent channel, tells Channel Partners that partners of all types — telecom and IT resellers and integrators — should see that AI, analytics and security are pivotal considerations for customers.


MetTel’s Dave Mitchell

“That’s nothing new, but what is notable is that CIOs are budgeting for them in the near future — especially when it comes to AI,” he said. “So the key is for them to align with innovative solution providers that know what’s coming and already have the advanced capabilities that enterprise customers are looking for, or at least looking ahead to.”

Forty-three percent of customers surveyed still see proving the business case as the main barrier to implementing these technologies, while just 29 percent said the associated costs are the main challenge.

“The biggest surprise was two-fold: No. 1, an acknowledgement by CIOs that completely automated, AI-powered threats are coming, and No. 2 , they have no idea how they are going to deal with that,” Mitchell said. “They currently do not have any special provisions, skills, plans or strategies to address that expected need and most do not believe they are budgeted for it.”

According to IDC, investment in DX technologies (hardware, software, and services) will cumulatively reach nearly $6.3 trillion by 2020 and will result in $18 trillion of economic value add across the global economy.

“This is the time channel players have the opportunity — armed with this research — to go out to their customers and ask the same questions,” Mitchell said. “Odds are they will get similar answers, but regardless (of) what comes back, they will spark a conversation about future-proofing their network infrastructure, and that can lead to…

…new sales opportunities and the chance to guide their customers in augmenting their internal resources with industry experts in key DX disciplines such as AI, analytics, connectivity and security.”

The channel has a major role in helping enterprises transform, he said. As their customers’ trusted advisers, they can help them envision the future and plan for it ahead of the market to drive competitive advantage — for their customers and themselves, he said.

“By being proactive and bringing in a technology provider that specializes in digital transformation, channel partners can take the initiative and spot new opportunities for growth, efficiency and operational agility resulting from DX technologies, as well as understanding the competitive advantages of being an early adopter,” Mitchell said.

“Enterprises are eager to undergo digital transformation, but there are several things that need to be evaluated before they start implementing these technologies, such as educating the entire organization on the potential value, benefits and challenges while also considering resource allocation and a realistic time frame,” said Lori Thomas, MetTel’s vice president of strategic engagement and transformation.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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