Home Tech Updates Three ways COVID-19 has fueled the demand for an As-a-Service model

Three ways COVID-19 has fueled the demand for an As-a-Service model

by Helen J. Wolf
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As we enter the third year of COVID-19, it is clear that the pandemic is significantly affecting the entire partner ecosystem, from suppliers to partners to customers. Some impacts were sudden, and others continue to evolve, changing course and reshaping the future for organizations of all sizes across various industries.

The proverbial genie is out of the bottle – organizations are adapting to enable hybrid work models – and most companies have discovered how to enable productive remote working while reducing expensive overheads. The key they find is flexibility.

Three ways COVID-19 has fueled the demand for an As-a-Service model

What does this mean for partners?

While this may sound counterintuitive, the pandemic has increased business for the partner ecosystem. This stems from the fact that organizations had to switch to remote working overnight, driving two years of digital transformation in just two weeks. The need for flexibility goes beyond improved IT efficiency and lower IT costs. COVID-19 forced workers into their homes, so the need for safe remote workspaces became crucial.

This has been a seamless transition for partners as they are prepared to act quickly and help customers adapt, given their expertise and skills. Looking ahead, we expect organizations to continue prioritizing flexibility in where and when work is done, relying heavily on workplace technology to enable this way of working.

Let’s look at three reasons why we’re seeing the emergence of an As-a-Service business model:

1. Ask for flexibility

The largest shift partners are seeing increased customers demanding operational and technology flexibility. 80% of business leaders believe that hybrid working will be an entirely new work model. As a result, customers want to buy things as-a-service, similar to buying a utility model.

Google and Amazon marketplaces are good examples of customers’ direction and how they want to buy and consume technology and services.

The partner ecosystem will evolve rapidly over the next 12 months to move their business to As-a-Service. While partners have typically resold products, the next year will shift to hosting service for a customer and hosting an offering rather than selling a product or solution.

2. Consumption prices

Uncertainty about customer demand and a volatile market drive partners to host services and offers. Technology has overtaken the As-a-Service model to which we have become accustomed in many other facets of life. For example, we are used to paying for what we use when it comes to utilities such as electricity and water. As a society, we have become accustomed to consumer prices. Consumers have realized that this model makes sense and fits their needs.

This has a technology knock-on effect: customers only want to pay for a service if they use it. At the same time, the impact of COVID-19 has forced organizations to realize they need the flexibility and agility to scale up and down based on customer demand.

This evolution towards consumer price models will require a transformation of both the partner and the customer. In addition to developing specific new skills and methodologies, there are implications for an organization’s foundation and business model – from project-oriented to service-oriented. For example, changing the invoicing process, payment systems, and other operational matters.

3. The Changing Partner Ecosystem

2022 will be an important learning year for partners as they find their place in this new landscape and adapt to As-a-service. Nearly half of the organizations worldwide have increased their investment in innovation because they see the value of integrating new technologies into their businesses.

Let’s look at MOQdigital, the Citrix Cloud Partner of the Year for APJ in 2021. MOQdigital and Citrix designed a cloud solution with virtual desktops in Microsoft Azure to help Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) achieve its goals of better access, higher performance, and flexibility to scale on demand. The cloud solution allows QIC to stay ahead of the unpredictable, which has been integral in recent years.

TEBA is another example of a partner’s excellence in delivering solutions that drive customer business value and results. This is especially evident in healthcare, where TEBA, now in its 10th year as a Platinum Partner, is working with Citrix to move select workloads to the cloud, achieving cost savings and data security. This allows hospital leaders to host what they need and where they need it and manage everything through a single pane of glass.

Looking forward

Partners must have the confidence and knowledge that suppliers understand their challenges and opportunities and are building profitable paths to move forward. With that in mind, now is the time for service providers to help their customers navigate to As-a-Service to support flexible work models.

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