By Rory Twort, Managing Executive of Sales at Axiz

The technology channel often sells on the basis of digital transformation. It’s a provocative concept that makes sense on a grand scale. But the market has matured to require more than big picture objectives. Today, it faces a more tangible demand called hybrid working.

Channel companies should give this need more attention – it may well be the new ‘digital transformation’. Instead of pie-in-the-sky concepts, hybrid workplaces are where technology’s rubber meets the business road.

Increasingly, the concept of digital transformation is becoming a requirement, yet difficult to define and implement. Businesses need to digitise and those that don’t will be left behind. But digital transformation is subjective, as a result, the tech industry has an opportunity to become more of a consultant and a partner to its customers.

We say it’s to upsell and help our customers realise their strategies. But in reality, you can’t pull digital transformation from a shelf or find it in a neat blueprint. It requires people to apply their minds continually and turn an esoteric concept into a reality that improves the company. Hybrid working has emerged as a tangible and definable part of this process and capable resellers can use this as an opportunity to articulate the concept to appreciative customers.

Hybrid work links digital transformation to real-world considerations. It can help improve and automate processes, it can show how a more connected and integrated collaboration system will improve productivity among remote workers.

In digital transformation, digital competitors might steal your talent. Hybrid work provides employees with tools to give them more flexibility, which makes you more attractive as an employer. Digital transformation could save you money, whereas hybrid work can clearly show how your organisation makes or loses money because of how you host software and provide services.

Hybrid work is a proxy for digital transformation. It’s a concrete manifestation of what digital delivers in a modern business. Conceptually, hybrid work is much more relatable to people. We’re not all tech fundies, but we all have smartphones, internet connections and enjoy ‘remote’ services such as internet banking and online shopping. After years of exposure to digital, we intuitively understand remote and hybrid – and that makes hybrid work the new transformation challenge.

This is good news for anyone selling technology. Hybrid working provides a big toehold, a foot in the door that hasn’t existed before. Digital transformation is intimidating because it speaks of a wholesale change but doesn’t provide specifics. Hybrid work is all about the specifics. Business leaders can understand its implications because they experience its impact.

We shouldn’t make today’s technology conversation only about hybrid work. It remains one piece of a larger puzzle where you also need long-term investments, serious business re-engineering, and a living digital strategy to move everything forward. But right now, hybrid work is a very real manifestation of digital transformation. Use it wisely, and you’ll find many doors open with your customers.