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Growth potential for channel partners focusing on advisory services

AI, Automation and cybersecurity become priorities for channel partners transitioning to trusted advisors as clients strive for digital agility

The study by Sage included 1500 European channel decision-makers from France, Germany, Portugal, Spain and the UK — shows that more than half (55%) of IT resellers are shifting from traditional sales to strategic advisory services. 

This transition aligns with the growing demand among SMBs for enhanced digital agility, that Sage defines as the ability to rapidly adapt to new technologies and market changes by leveraging digital technology and solutions.

Reflecting this trend, 73% of IT resellers report that SMBs are prioritising digital agility to drive business growth (29%), enhance competitiveness (24%), and improve efficiency (23%). 

To support these goals, 54% of channel companies are now focused on promoting innovative technologies that boost SMBs' digital capabilities. As a result, nearly half (46%) of partners have experienced role changes in assisting SMB customers with their digital agility journey. 

Of these, 55% now offer more strategic advice, 54% focus on technology adoption, 52% face increased technical demands, and 40% emphasise sales and product delivery. 

Susan Vincent (pictured), MD at Baker Tilly, a Sage Partner, underscores the importance of this shift: “More SMBs are now prioritising digital agility to remain competitive and resilient in a constantly evolving business environment. 

“As channel leaders, we must shift towards a consultative approach to support our customers and help them activate the latest technologies with ease.” 

AI and automated services (58%) followed by cybersecurity (57%) topped the survey of technologies that will foster digital agility for businesses over the next 12 – 18 months. 

While financial management (27%), payroll and HR systems (24%), and carbon accounting (17%) languished at the bottom.