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Digital transformation: Services firms may find work across verticals

An Ovum survey paints a picture of opportunity for IT services firms: Only a handful of IT execs believe they have fully realized digital transformation; other news from the week.

Channel companies offering digital transformation services have a lot of work ahead of them.

Only 8% of IT executives believe they have achieved transformation and just 16% consider themselves well advanced, according to newly released survey results from Ovum, a market researcher based in London. The company based its research on interviews with more than 6,300 respondents worldwide.

Daniel Mayo, director of IT data tools and insights at Ovum, suggested the need for additional digital transformation progress could create opportunities for digital agencies to help with the front-end piece of creating digital services. But he said many enterprise customers are taking on the larger initiative of business transformation, which calls for a wider range of skills.

"A lot of the larger professional services firms, IT services firms are focused on the digital space," Mayo said, citing Accenture and IBM as examples. He said such companies are pursuing the broader opportunity around business transformation.

In addition to large services providers, an emerging crop of digital consulting firms and solutions integrators are also offering digital transformation services. Those companies are often smaller boutique firms, but aim to offer IT services and management consulting, as well as digital agency services.

lot of the larger professional services firms, IT services firms are focused on the digital space.
Daniel Mayodirector of IT data tools and insights, Ovum

Service providers hoping to win business in the digital arena will find organizations in the telecommunications and banking fields as the most advanced in digital transformation, the Ovum survey noted. The market researcher created a digital maturity index to assess the progress of enterprises across 14 industries. Telecom topped the charts with a score of 43.9%, with banking following at 42%. Utilities at 41.7% and education at 41.4% rounded out the top four.

But even companies in the leading industries have plenty of room for improvement. A score of 100% would indicate a fully realized digital transformation, while scores in the 40s show that digital transformation remains a work in progress.

As for the technology enablers of digital transformation, big data and API-based architectures are leading the way with respect to enterprise adoption plans and current deployments, according to the Ovum survey. Nearly 40% of respondents said they are trialing or deploying those technologies. Channel companies offering digital transformation services may find less traction with blockchain, which Ovum said lags behind other technologies.

Equity investor to buy Barracuda Networks

Managed services providers (MSPs) have more merger and acquisition activity to consider in the data protection space with the latest transaction focusing on Barracuda Networks Inc.

Private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo LLC has agreed to acquire Barracuda, a security and data protection provider, in a $1.6 billion cash transaction. Barracuda partners with MSPs, resellers and technology partners such as ISVs. Barracuda MSP, for example, is a company operation that provides products and subscription plans geared toward service providers.

The Barracuda news follows on the heels of the October Datto-Autotask merger announcement. The deal combining data protection vendor Datto and MSP automation tool maker Autotask is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The Barracuda transaction, which is expected to close before the end of February 2018, will see Barracuda operate as a privately held company. In a statement, BJ Jenkins, CEO at Barracuda, said he expects partners to benefit from the new ownership arrangement.

Other news

Dell EMC revealed a shakeup in its channel leadership, naming Joyce Mullen as global channel chief. Mullen will assume the role from John Byrne, who served as Dell EMC's president of global channels since September 2016. Byrne will now lead Dell EMC's North American commercial sales. Mullen was previously senior vice president and general manager of Dell EMC's OEM and IoT solutions.

Market researcher Frost & Sullivan said it expects the IP telephony and unified communications as a service market to "maintain robust double-digit growth rates" through 2023. The company said the market is relatively untapped and can support numerous providers. Channel partners are selling UCaaS offerings into vertical markets such as healthcare.

SolarWinds MSP, which provides IT service management solutions to MSPs, has integrated its Backup Documents offering into the cloud and on-premises versions of SolarWinds RMM. Backup Documents provides the ability to manage backup and recovery for business documents, according to the company.

Kaseya, an IT management solutions provider for MSPs, has rolled out a new edition of its Kaseya Accelerate in the City live events program. The events include business enablement and technical breakout sessions, product roadmap discussions and peer networking. The first event in this series was held Nov. 30 in Boston. Additional roadshows will take place in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; London; Dallas; Los Angeles; Sydney; Nashville, Tenn.; Düsseldorf, Germany; Atlanta and Chicago.

Software company Ormuco unveiled a channel program for selling its Ormuco Stack cloud platform. The program targets cloud services providers, MSPs, value-added resellers and ISVs, the company said. Program benefits include a partner portal for billing and provisioning, software discounts, reseller licensing rights and access to market development funds. Maria Dinallo, Ormuco's recently named senior channel director, will oversee the partner program. Dinallo joined Ormuco from Parallels, where she was senior director of channel sales.

Stelligent, a technology service company based in Reston, Va., said it has reached Premier-tier Consulting Partner status in the Amazon Web Services Partner Network. The company specializes in DevOps automation and AWS managed services.

M7 Global Partners, a consortium of Citrix consulting firms in the U.S., has added Convergence Technology Consulting to its partner roster. Convergence Technology Consulting, based in Columbia, Md., focuses on data security, enterprise IT and support/recovery.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday. Additional reporting by Spencer Smith.

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An Ovum survey shows few IT executives believe they have fully realized the potential of digital transformation. Where do you see the consulting opportunities in this field?
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