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Due to user experience, innovation, and cloud adoption, digital transformation is no longer just a buzzword. It has fast become a necessity across all sectors and significantly impacts the growth planning and IT budgets of all organizations.

Research shows that IT leaders have more than doubled their focus on digital transformation strategies within the last year. This increase is driven in large part by fear and uncertainty. Many organizations fear becoming obsolete. They’re uncertain of what their industry will look like in three years, and they worry they’re not yet in the ranks of digital leaders.

What’s in Store for Customers in 2017

To overcome this fear, organizations are springing into action. This year, we can expect to see them prioritizing technology initiatives, including larger investments in infrastructure, resources, and software development. In addition, we can expect corresponding changes in IT resource and budget allocation.

For example, we know network virtualization opportunities are at an all-time high of US$10 billion. That’s good news for partners specializing in the VMware NSX® platform—and more opportunity awaits.

Instead of specific solutions, partners and customers are focusing on core set of business outcomes in 2017: accelerating business agility and innovation, delivering exceptional mobile experiences, and protecting brand reputation and customer trust. We are enabling partners to help their customers achieve these business outcomes through four strategic IT priorities.

Modernizing data centers. As enterprises deepen their digital transformation efforts, they’re leveraging VMware software-defined technology so they can quickly respond to and create new market opportunities. Through VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture™ and virtualization technologies, partners can help organizations:

  • Modernize infrastructure by software-defining compute, storage, and networking resources for efficiency and agility
  • Automate IT to streamline provisioning and deployment at a speed that keeps up with business demands
  • Run modern apps, whether cloud-native, web-scale, or open API-based, on an enterprise-grade platform

Integrating public clouds. Today’s digital transformation strategies increasingly include public cloud integration for greater agility and innovation. In fact, a VMware customer survey found that nearly 70 percent of enterprises foresee an ideal end state where they rely on multiple clouds. Partners can confidently help their customers:

  • Leverage VMware hybrid clouds by extending VMware vSphere®-based infrastructure to vSphere-based public clouds, where they can run apps with workload portability between on-premises infrastructure and the cloud
  • Manage multiple clouds with VMware vRealize® for multiple private and public vSphere-based clouds, or in the future, with VMware Cross-Cloud Services™ to manage any app or workload on any cloud

Empowering digital workspaces. Employees today rely on the ability to work anywhere, anytime, on devices of their choosing. They expect a mobile experience that meets—or exceeds—what they experience as consumers. We help partners enable exceptional mobile experiences for enterprises by using NSX, the VMware Workspace ONE™ enterprise platform, the VMware Horizon® virtual desktop infrastructure, the VMware AirWatch® enterprise mobility platform, and other solutions to:

  • Simplify application access and management by keeping apps, desktops, and data off the endpoints and secure in the data center or cloud
  • Unify endpoint management so IT can manage all apps and devices on a single platform, regardless of ownership—and with complete employee privacy
  • Virtualize apps and desktops, running them in secure data centers on-premises or in the cloud to ensure that only the user interface is transmitted beyond the firewall
  • Transform Windows delivery by giving IT centralized security controls through which they can easily manage all devices and user access on Windows 10

Transforming security. IT is challenged to secure interactions between users, apps, and data in a constantly shifting, digital business environment. And traditional network-perimeter security cannot address the increasing sprawl of applications and users. We help solve these security issues by providing a ubiquitous software layer across application infrastructure and endpoints. This approach provides deep visibility into and context for the interactions between users and applications. As a result, partners can help organizations:

  • Secure application infrastructure by using NSX to virtualize the network and implement micro-segmentation to align granular security controls to apps
  • Secure identity and endpoints with end-to-end visibility and control, from the user and endpoint device all the way into the app infrastructure within the data center or cloud
  • Streamline compliance through controls implemented at the software layer, which also deliver the visibility needed to demonstrate compliance

Get Ready to Help Customers Accelerate Digital Transformation

Working together, VMware and our partners are well positioned to add valuable insight to digital transformation conversations. But it’s not just about talking. It’s about delivering robust technology solutions needed to ease the concerns of customers across all sectors.

Be sure to visit Partner Central for more on how partners can help drive digital transformation in 2017 and beyond.