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BT and Cisco research reveals cautious optimism as businesses focus on digitisation

Saf Malik
January 27, 2021

Over two-thirds of respondents have seen increased demand for network bandwidth

BT and Cisco have today published new research from the UK Channel with 96 per cent of respondents saying that customers are now taking a more strategic approach to digital investments.

91 per cent of Channel respondents believe businesses are prioritising digital transformation plans for the foreseeable future.

The research highlights a sense of optimism in the year ahead despite the current climate, with businesses continuing to adapt as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The optimism is leading to greater emphasis being placed on the role of technology in underpinning resiliency, continuity, and future competitiveness and growth.

The survey of senior decision-makers across 100 separate channel organisations shows that the biggest opportunities are perceived to be in helping businesses increase agility and flexibility; enhance the customer experience, and drive efficiencies.

However, businesses are still cautious amid uncertainty due to the pandemic.

While the majority agree that managing costs are an immediate priority for most organisations, the research indicates a focus on changing customer needs.

Over two-thirds of respondents have seen increased demand for network bandwidth from customers. A third have seen businesses demand shorter procurement rimes as businesses look to adopt tools faster in response to the changing situation.

BT Wholesale Unit’s channel sales director Gavin Jones said: “The rapid digital acceleration from the outset of the pandemic has started to settle but the consistently evolving environment means businesses must continue to evaluate how best to progress.

“We’re seeing a shift in the way channel partners and their customers are considering a long-term strategic approach to digital investments, including permanent changes in working practices for distributed teams of people.

“The research indicates a desire and need to handle complex technology via third parties which present a huge opportunity for channel growth and, more broadly, bodes well for the technology sector in Britain.

Cisco UK CTO Chintan Patel added: “As the pandemic persists, it’s clear that channel partners and their customers are looking to transform their emergency digital responses for the long-term. CPs highlighted cost savings through automation, enhanced agility, flexibility, and increased security as key strategic benefits.

“As a result, the benefits and returns on these technology investments can be viewed as a dividend, giving UK businesses a return over the years to follow.”

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