Melissa Mulholland Former Director, Cloud Enablement and Profitability, One Commercial Partner

Partner benefits of pursuing digital transformation

Partner working on laptop

While the Microsoft partner ecosystem comprises a diverse set of organizations, we have a shared goal to make the digital evolution of our customers real – delivering customer success. The good news is that by accelerating business outcomes for customers, partners can win market share in what IDC forecasts will be $2.1 trillion in spending related to digital transformation projects in 2023.

The growth of this market equates to a massive opportunity for our partners—as discussed in my previous blog post, Microsoft partners produce $9.58 in revenue for every $1 that Microsoft generates. However, it’s important to recognize that this value is tied to your ability to transform your own organization, which in turn will allow you to develop and scale your capabilities to better address the transformation needs of your customers.

We explore how partners are achieving this in the Microsoft-sponsored eBook Digital Transformation 2.0 – The Journey to Disruption, which takes a look at the acceleration of partner digital maturity. In the eBook, IDC examines the partner digital journey across five maturity stages, illustrated below.

Surprisingly, only 35% of partners are in the late stages (4-5) of this process, where they benefit from additional revenue and profits resulting from their sophisticated digital capabilities. These partners are also better positioned to help customers with their own digital transformation journey, which can differentiate them in the marketplace and create additional opportunities to scale as an organization. Meanwhile, 53% of Microsoft partners are in early stages (2-3) and 12% report not having started at all. However, we all know that the process of digital transformation is not an easy “one-and-done” proposition, and partners need to map out a path forward that makes sense for their organization.

There are several key hurdles to overcome on the transformation journey, from automating your processes and providing effective training to developing an open, innovation-driven culture. Because this evolution requires time, money and resources, it’s important to have a planned approach to change, focusing on one area at a time so your business doesn’t spread itself too thin. And partners often execute their own transformation while they continue to drive business with customers that are on the same path, which makes it particularly important to start the entire process with the right vision and commitment from leadership.

On the leadership front, there is great news: more than half of the Microsoft partners surveyed by IDC were especially adept at creating the organizational change needed to shape and lead a digital-forward business. These are all good indicators that our partners are developing the right attributes to serve customers on their transformative journey, both now and in the future.

But more than that, facilitating transformation positions your own company for growth. The end goal of becoming digital forward is to achieve better business outcomes, which is validated by IDC survey data that discovered Microsoft partners at the highest stage of transformation stand out in the marketplace.

One bonus of this partner journey is that being a digital leader points to increased opportunities for IP through the automation, agility, and operational efficiencies that can become best practices for customers. As noted in my previous post, these partners tend to make bigger investments in their own intellectual property and have higher IP growth expectations. They’re also better at overcoming the challenges of hiring and retaining a diverse and digitally savvy workforce, which can engage customers across their full lifecycle.  

While navigating digital transformation may present its challenges, it can be rewarding and profitable for your organization—and we’re here to support you every step of the way. The Microsoft Partner Network is well-positioned to meet the ongoing needs of our customers, which can help us achieve sustainable growth moving forward. I look forward to seeing what we accomplish as we continue to work together.

This blog is the second in a series on digital transformation. The first installment, titled Unlocking the opportunities of digital transformation, is available here.