Interesting Times: Transformation in the IT Channel
The old saying "may you live in interesting times" is a blessing or a curse, depending on how you look at it. These times are indeed interesting. "Transition" and "transformation" are pervasive themes in the channel and elsewhere in IT.
Business Transformation is the Buzzword to Know
A recent report from CompTIA outlines those themes: "Business transformation will remain the buzzword of the moment as channel firms of all stripes continue to assess the direction of their companies in the age of cloud computing, mobility, managed services, big data, social media and other market and technology forces. Navigating new routes to market and evolving customer buying habits will challenge channel firms to focus just as much on their own branding and marketing as they will on elevating their tech skills."
As solution providers in the channel make market and technology transitions, they are under pressure to focus on building their skill sets to position themselves to take advantage of opportunities ahead.
The Big Challenges for the Channel
It's not that there is a shortage of IT personnel, but rather that there is a scarcity of the skill sets required to meet demand for IT services in fast-growing areas, ranging from Java programming to open-source technologies such as Linux. And to complicate matters, those needs change over time, creating pressure to add new skills and expertise while keeping current skills fresh.
"Just as demand for mobile, cloud and analytic expertise may be heading for the proverbial pinnacle in 2015, emerging technologies such as software-defined networking (SDN), containers, and the Internet of Things are already starting to make their presence felt," wrote Channel Insider contributor Michael Vizard in a recent article.
"Solution providers may not need to directly own that talent, but they definitely need to find ways to access it by relying more on vendors, distributors and even each other," Vizard wrote.
Opportunity in Transitions and Transformations
The IT industry's transitions and transformations offer opportunities to companies in the channel to boost their own revenue and ROI, as well as the financial performance of those with which they do business.
However, these shifts present obstacles. The big challenges for the channel lie in understanding where the market needs are and being at the right place at the right time to fill them.
The stakes are high, and these times are not just interesting but invigorating, with plenty of opportunity for those who stay on top of the trends and are prepared to meet new demands.
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