How to unlock the power of disruptive thinking in the IT channel
By Dale Parkinson, Sales Director – Wholesale, Virgin Media Business
June 12th 2017
The Great Fire of London. The French Revolution. The invention of the microchip.
What do all these events have in common?
They reshaped society and the economy, sweeping away the ways of old. They transformed everything from politics and business to the way we live our lives.
Though destructive and tragic, these events brought opportunities in their wake for those who adapted rapidly and intelligently.
This principle also applies to the current situation that UK plc finds itself in due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Organisations, including your end customers, have leapt forward five years in terms of digital progress in just a matter of months, according to McKinsey.
60% of IT managers have increased their use of advanced, off-premise technologies since the outbreak, a recent survey by Snow Software found.
Through disruption and evolving demand, there is hope and opportunity ahead.
How do you identify these opportunities and capitalise on them?
By thinking about disruption not just in terms of the outcomes your end customers see and hear, but as an invisible force that powers and impacts everything across your organisation.
1. Building momentum, disruptively
Over 80% of IT leaders increased their use of cloud storage in direct response to the pandemic and the shift to remote working, according to that same Snow Software survey.
This has led to organisations that are more agile and flexible than they were before the pandemic.
Research suggests employees want a different working model, too.
90% of workers say they would like flexible working to continue in the long term.
It’s not surprising that we’ve seen massive brands such as Nationwide, Facebook and Twitter announcing permanent transitions to hybrid or remote working models.
These changes hold the potential to improve efficiency and productivity. But they also require organisations to think more disruptively about their networking infrastructure.
To sustain new working patterns and meet online customer demand over the long term, organisations need connectivity infrastructure that can handle huge volumes of data, at high speed and low latency and with maximum security.
But this raises tricky questions.
What changes do your end customers actually need to make to provide the scalability, resilience and flexibility UK plc needs to survive and thrive?
And how can you help them do this without ripping everything out and creating an enormous headache for workers during such a turbulent period?
2. Manageable disruption
One of the great myths of technological disruption that can affect you and your customers is that it has to involve rapid, wholesale change.
This just isn’t the case.
Research from Gartner shows this misperception could be down to a lack of critical understanding of how digital transformation impacts a business and the skills needed to fuel the process.
Disruption can happen incrementally.
Technologies such as high capacity services, capable of moving large data volumes at lightning-fast speeds, offer transformative benefits but are relatively simple to set up with the right wholesale partner.
It’s the same with dark fibre, giving end-customers control over their network speeds and capacity without requiring existing infrastructure to be ripped out.
These technologies are disruptive, but in a way that’s manageable.
And incremental changes to underlying networks will fuel another wave of disruption in itself.
Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, the internet of things and 5G ultimately rely on enormous amounts of data that require instantaneous and highly secure processing.
They can’t have an impact without the underlying connectivity infrastructure supporting them.
You can play an important role in drawing organisations’ attention to the potential of disruptive, yet manageable infrastructure innovation.
3. The right disruptive relationships
You should also look towards wholesale connectivity providers that can guide you through disruption.
These organisations use methods like partner advisory boards and dedicated account service teams to accompany you every step of the way, creating healthy and sustainable relationships.
Research from Kaspersky shows that channel partners sometimes wish their relationships with current vendors were stronger.
69% say they’d like more personal contact. No organisation should stand for this, including yours. Wholesale connectivity partners that don’t invest in their relationships won’t be able to help you capitalise on manageable disruption.
By working with established wholesale connectivity partners, you can equip UK plc and the public sector with the advanced infrastructure capable of driving the recovery and allowing them to flourish.
4. Leading disruption, together
The connectivity sector is playing a vital role in ensuring organisations across the UK can adapt to the ongoing impact of the pandemic.
It will have an even bigger role in ensuring we go beyond recovery and rebound as one of the most dynamic economies in the world.
You can do this by encouraging your customers to think disruptively. Not just in terms of technologies they see and feel, but the underlying networks driving employee collaboration and multichannel customer service.
Strong collaboration between you and your wholesale partners, underpinned by long-lasting relationships which are held in the spirit of open communication, will make this vision a reality.
This will ensure that leading the connectivity revolution is a collaborative and successful endeavour.