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CA survey highlights channel innovation

by Stuart Wilson, Wednesday 21 August 2013

IT management solutions vendor CA Technologies has presented the results of its latest EMEA channel survey. The CA Technologies channel index findings show that companies in EMEA are increasingly switching their IT budgets from routine maintenance toward more innovative projects that enable revenue-generating services, according to the vendor.

The survey found that, on average, EMEA partners spend 34% of their time helping customers with innovation projects that enable new revenue-generating services. This is encouraging, according to CA, as research from July 2012 revealed that only 18% of IT spend in the UK was devoted to innovation.

“IT projects are being driven by the need for businesses to innovate for growth, while creating new ways to serve customers. And today’s IT director is expected to be the driver of these efforts,” said Sean McCarry, senior director at CA Technologies. “Our solutions and partner programmes equip partners with the tools they need to help their customers fuel innovation and drive growth. The Channel Index 2013 shows just how far IT departments and channel partners have come on this journey.”

Chris Gabriel, VP of solutions management at systems integrator Logicalis Group, commented: “The drive for CIOs to move activity from the sunk-cost operational bucket into bottom-line innovation activity continues apace. As the CIO and IT department increase their attack on operational waste, they also seek to streamline innovation delivery. Whether that is provisioning, managing and securing new cloud servers or cloud-based business services, or mobilising individual business applications or the entire workforce of business users, the CIO has to deliver both operational and innovation efficiency.”

“IT service delivery used to be measured by the service level agreement (SLA) attainment of time-to-resolution metrics when something went wrong. Now, the only metric the business wants to judge is time-to-innovate. CIOs now see their role as chief innovation officer, and they have recognised that their business value isn’t in managing IT infrastructure, but delivering new IT enabled business experiences,” Gabriel added.

Two priority areas for IT investment emerged from the CA research: enterprise mobility and cloud. Enterprise mobility is becoming increasingly more widespread, providing customers and employees with new and convenient ways of accessing enterprise applications. With this comes added complexity to the IT environment and new challenges to manage and keep the IT environment secure.

The index revealed that 83% of CA Technologies partners in EMEA expect to see increased spending on enterprise mobility over the next year and 93% recognise that the rapid adoption of mobility creates opportunities to help grow their business. Among UK partners, this figure rose to 95%.

Cloud computing was identified by CA Technologies partners as the second priority for their customers’ IT investments. Nearly two thirds of the partners surveyed predicted an increase in cloud computing spending over the next year. In the UK, a significant 81% of partners expected increases. This is the fifth year in a row that large increases have been predicted by the CA Technologies channel index. Cloud gives customers greater agility to match business needs, and enables innovation by leveraging this new way of using and consuming technology. It is also transforming the cost model away from fixed investments to more pay-per use models.

While the private cloud is the most popular deployment model today the use of hybrid cloud is increasing quickly. Use of hybrid cloud has risen by 50% since last year’s channel index.

CA Technologies partners are innovating as well as their customers, by evolving their business models to adapt to customer demand and evolving into managed service providers (MSPs). The arrival and adoption of disruptive technologies presents great opportunities for partners and the survey indicates they are responding quickly to market changes.

The CA Technologies Channel Index 2013 found that 58% of partners have become, or started to become, full MSPs, while 25% acknowledged that they needed to consider the MSP business model. In the UK over two thirds have started to transition to the MSP model. This enables them to build cloud-based service offerings that allow their customers to meet business needs with more flexible and cost-efficient IT. Partners are also offering innovative services, with 72% offering services above and beyond basic IT.

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