The only constant is change.

I’ve heard this term applied to technology over the years. It wasn’t until recently I looked up the origin of the expression to discover it comes from a Greek philosopher named Heraclitus who died in 475 BC. In other words, we’ve talked about the fact that things constantly change for a long time.

So if the only constant is change, why are so many technology companies struggling in 2017 to figure out the next steps in their business? Why have the last few years instantly made or broken business models in the tech sector? Aren’t we always addressing change? What’s the big deal.

In a keynote address at WPC in Toronto in 2016, Microsoft head Satya Nadella said, “Businesses desire to use digital technology to predict outcomes, empower their employees and transform their products. Companies are currently building digital technologies of their own to transform in the digital era.”

Why is current change so profound?

We are in the midst of profound digital transformation around the world. This change is likely the most significant we have seen since the Industrial Revolution. So anyone involved in the technology sector today is struggling to not only understand the change we are currently in but where we are going. As a result, this has had a huge impact on business models, products and services being sold and an increasingly competitive environment which is forcing anyone in the technology ecosystem to keep up or be left behind.

In a recent discussion with one Managed Service Provider in the Microsoft channel, they estimated that 10 years ago 70% of their revenue came from software sales. In the last two years, less than 10% has come from software. The point of the story is, you need to be pretty innovative, nimble and energetic to turn a business model around in a short period of time. It’s not just the products being sold that are changing, it’s also the attitude of the buyer that needs to be addressed. People are demanding better service and cheaper more flexible solutions. What are technology solution providers to do?

How do you handle change?

If you are running a technology company today or are part of the team, you don’t have a lot of options for trying to figure out where to move next. You can:

  • Talk to industry leaders
  • Talk to solution providers
  • Talk to colleagues
  • Talk to customers

At the end of the day, while you are working in the business, you need to have your ear to the ground to understand where technology is headed so you can work on the business. Often it’s hard to leave work behind and focus on where things are going.

In an era of online content and overwhelming noise and clutter, it’s easy to get caught up turning to the web for answers. But being able to listen to speakers, hearing from industry experts and networking with colleagues, is often much more valuable than a lonely web search or webinar.

That is why events such as eXtreme365 being hosted November 6-9 in Long Beach, California are so important to figuring out “what to do next”. It’s an opportunity to hear from experts, get the story first hand from companies like Microsoft and network with colleagues.

I am excited to be speaking at this event on the topic of digital marketing and helping technology solution providers tell their stories in the marketplace. It’s a tall order today for anyone in the IT sector. Not only keeping up with change but finding ways to help customers understand change and the impact on their businesses, is a monumental task. Just when technology solution providers thought they were doing a good job of explaining the cloud, along comes AI and machine learning, the gamification of CRM, etc. and the processes starts all over again.

Satya Nadella wrapped up his keynote in 2016 with a message to channel partners. “The impact that our channel partners are having around the world will have profound human and economical outcomes. The innovations are incredible as they make a real difference in the world”.

No wonder it’s a brave new world for technology companies. But it doesn’t have to be a lonely one. Events like eXtreme365 help companies make sense of it all and chart a course for the future.

If you are a technology solution provider, I hope to see you in Long Beach in November. Let’s tackle the future together.

And if you want a taste of my session at eXtreme365 called Diagnosing and Fixing your Digital Marketing Strategy, download the guide today.

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