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What are the top priorities for partners this year?

What are the top priorities for partners this year?

Workforce transformation, data analytics and security must be top of mind for modern business says IBRS analyst

The advent of digital transformation calls for a competitive struggle as modern businesses must adapt and invest to stay relevant with technology succinctly aligned with new, disruptive models.

According to IBRS analyst, Joseph Sweeney, workforce transformation, data analytics and security must be top of mind for all modern businesses.

Sweeney said that workplace and workforce transformation is a huge issue in both the public and the private sector.

“We are seeing everyone from higher education like universities, to banks, to logistics companies; they are all looking at how they used to deploy their workforce, once the idea has been realised that the desktop is not the only tool they have got," he said.

"The realisation has sprung and this actually changes the way people are hired and what type of people needed to be hired. Do you hire on contract? Do you casualise the labour or do you outsource whole parts of the business?”

Sweeney said channel partners such as MSPs and SIs are struggling to figure how these changes impact business, and not just in terms of sales, but internally how they do business.

“I do know it is becoming much harder for partners and vendors to retain a story of selling their wares in an environment where businesses know that they don’t need to invest in anymore, like for storage or desktops for example," he said.

"There have been changes in the market of the types of devices that are being procured. The next wave of that change is do we even need to buy these devices?

"Why don’t we just give our staff $2000 and tell them to buy what they want from JB HiFi . These are the discussions that channel partners are struggling with.

"We are so far down this trail that it is an unstoppable force. If you couple that with an economy that is flattening and with the risks of employment, there are some bigger economic stories that are yet to play out."

According to Sweeney, the importance of security to a business in the advent of digital transformation is a "no-brainer".

“When you start to make your workforce more open and as you are doing more online with customers, it is opening up many more vectors to attack and there is also a much bigger surface area to attack," he added.

Sweeney added that business has ‘turned a corner’ in that it is becoming a common understanding that cyber-security must be treated as a business issue.

“If companies don’t treat cyber-security as a business issue, then they cannot carry out the innovations they want to do in the business world," he added.

“There have been governments projects to create mobile apps to solve a whole range of issues in a local council that cannot be rolled out because of the fear of security.

"That is no longer sufficient - people have to figure out ways to solve this so they can do business in this way."

Sweeney highlighted data analytics and the data-driven business as a top priority for modern business as it has been realised that having an answer to the right questions through data provides a real understanding of what matters to an organisation.

“This is where the money is," he explained. "This is where we are seeing the rise of the data scientist. That is, essentially a mathematician who can talk business language. This is going to lead over the next year into predictive applications."

Commenting on the reelection of the Coalition, Sweeney said the “flattening” of the economy has led businesses to turn to the public sector and see what actions it will take next.

“The reality is that there will be a slowing of Government spend in some of these areas,” he added.

“It will be a difficult budget to reform and there will be some hand wringing but I believe there will be more examination of some of these cutting edge technologies like Big Data coming out of some of the big government departments and will come out of the mid-size of Australian business, but the business appetite for investment at the moment is very low.”

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Tags sisITMSPsIBRSLiberal PartyCoalitionJoseph Sweeney

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