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Why 95% of CEOs have a digital-first strategy—and why cloud partners come first

July 28, 2022
Bron Hastings

VP, ISV Ecosystem and Channels, Google Cloud

IDC’s Philip Carter, author of their Global CEO Survey, discusses the importance of a strong cloud ecosystem for digital success

When IDC recently asked CEOs what single word most reflects what their organization needs to thrive in 2022, the overwhelming response was “technology.” CEOs want to acquire greater digital know-how as they recognize that technology will underpin the business model of the future.

Digital transformation, already well underway, is becoming digital first. 

In fact, an astonishing 95% of CEOs see the need to adopt a digital-first strategy, according to IDC, and the majority of organizations are down the path of executing their plans. Currently, they report that about 30% of their organization’s revenue comes from digital products, services and experiences, a figure that will reach past 40% by 2027. 

But what will power this digital-first enterprise? In my experience, successful large-scale digital transformations are executed by a diverse set of partners and vendors—including a cloud partner, valuable channel partners and resellers, independent software vendors (commonly called ISVs), and services partners; multiple cloud partners are even becoming quite common.

These networks of experts are increasingly the driver behind enterprise transformation. They help companies and organizations to establish an actively managed and governed cloud ecosystem that integrates native and third-party solutions, which can create shared value for all partners from the latest digital technologies. In fact, 85% of CEOs told IDC that actively participating in digital ecosystems is important to their revenue growth.

The new digital agenda is built on cloud ecosystems

Recently, I sat down with the author of the IDC CEO survey, Philip Carter. He’s the group vice president, European chief analyst, and worldwide C-suite tech research lead at IDC, and I wanted to better understand from him how executives are approaching their digital-first mission. 

He explained that CEOs are turning to cloud platforms as a primary partner to put in place new, industry-specific digital business models. These platforms are at the center of “industry value networks” that accelerate time to value and benefit from cloud architecture’s ability to deliver scale, extensibility, and AI-driven experiences to create new revenue streams. 

At Google Cloud, we have made building such industry value networks a priority, comprising of: 

  • Google Cloud, which provides the infrastructure and develops industry-specific data and analytics capabilities using artificial intelligence.

  • Broader Google product areas like Google Shopping, Ads, Maps, Pay, Assistant, Android and Chrome.

  • Independent software vendors (ISVs) relevant to a specific industry, who co-innovate with Google to provide end-to-end solutions to industry problems.

  • System integrators (SIs) with deep industry knowledge who build the strategy and implement the business transformation for customers.

As an example, Google Cloud customers across multiple industries are looking for digital transformation to reinvent their core functions, such as supply chain. They might be identifying new distribution channels or restructuring their inventory. Google Cloud understands how to link the enterprise ecosystem with the consumer ecosystem. We can help enterprises access this broader ecosystem while leveraging AI-driven insights from data to help inform decisions in real time, at the point of engagement.


Google Cloud’s partner ecosystem can help achieve multiple items on the C-suite tech agenda such as improving customer experience, powering enterprise intelligence, building trust, supporting a distributed workplace, driving innovation, and streamlining operations. 

According to IDC, 75% of all organizations will be completely digitally transformed by 2030. Google Cloud has been working hard with our partners to create an extensive ecosystem that can help your organization achieve its digital transformation ahead of competitors. This includes co-developing and co-innovating industry-specific solutions with a host of partners in key areas such as operations, enterprise intelligence, customer experience, workplace productivity, innovation, security, and trust. 

And over the next few years, Google Cloud will double its investment in its partner ecosystem with increased co-innovation resources, more incentives, and co-marketing campaigns and funding. We’ll also offer greater integration into the Google Cloud Marketplace and a larger commitment to training and enablement. 

For more insights on the C-suite “Future of Enterprise” agenda, you can watch my full IDC interview. You might also download our ebook featuring IDC data on the future of enterprise with ecosystem examples from partners like AMD, Confluent, Fortinet, Genesys, Informatica, and Workspot.

Our goal is to provide comprehensive best-in-class support for our mutual customers’ digital transformations. As we look toward that goal, one thing is for sure: Our ecosystem of partners will continue to grow, adding solutions to meet the needs of digital-first enterprises. Care to join us on that journey?

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