Smaller may be better in the coming months.
At last that’s what Clive Gold, CTO for storage hardware solutions provider EMC in Australia and New Zealand, seems to suggest.
“Smaller, more nimble IT service providers focusing on specific regions or verticals are set to become even more attractive in the coming year as IT continues its transformation to specialisation,” he wrote in his list of predictions for 2012. “As they utilise their deeper knowledge of [their customers’ IT landscape and industry ] and as the big, and undifferentiated IT service providers become less appealing.”
“The opportunity for the reseller is to accelerate the market transition towards a more consumption based IT market,” Gold said in a follow-up interview. “To do this the reseller community needs to evolve, however if the reseller today simply ‘box drops’, then they are in trouble. However, the vast majority of the reseller community in New Zealand believe that this transition is a massive opportunity for them.”
Resellers may be in a good position to become brokers of cloud services, and white labelling other resellers offerings. But Gold suggests such organisations will not succeed if they think of the cloud is just another product to sell.
“Resellers that are looking to add value to these services, by drawing on their relationship with their customers, will create a new market space,” he says. “For example a reseller might combine a number of disparate services to provide a full solution to a target market. The reseller might provide additional services combined with the cloud services to round out the offering.”
Gold includes virtualisation among such “critical” disrupters in the storage market as developments like multi-core CPUs and FLASH devices. These developments have made storage less energy consuming and require less management.
“Moving to a Big Data world, these same technologies are being used with new architectures, new databases and new analytics tools, to completely change the cost and performance structures of computing,” Gold says. “Today the only limits in IT are people’s imagination and the only barrier is their ability to think beyond traditional computing.”
Gold says there will be plenty of work for to do in the years to come, as the majority of computing workloads in New Zealand and globally have not been virtualised.
“Resellers still provide valuable services to customers who are on this journey and this won’t change in the short term,” he says. “Moving from virtualisation to a combination of ‘cloud’ services and internal resources is the next stage of this journey. This stage will open new opportunities for resellers as customers rely on trusted advisors to help them architect their environments, adopt these services and integrate them into their overall environments.”