Cloud and mobile technology have changed the way that IT is chosen, constructed, and implemented.
Such a change in mindset has given rise to organisations that, more than ever, rely on technology to handle growth, creating opportunities for the channel to find new ways to support their customers.
Going forward, CompTIA has identified five key ways the channel can benefit from the growing reliance on technology.
1. Increased technology literacy across the board
As organisations have adopted more usable and capable consumer products, like smartphones and cloud services, employee technology literacy has increased - this makes it easier for non-IT staff to research new technologies for business use.
“The channel can make the most of this increasing literacy across the organisation by extending advice and guidance to non-IT staff considering new business technologies,” says Moheb Moses, Director, Channel Dynamics.
“This gives the channel a broader footprint in the customer organisation, creating more opportunities for sales and making it easier to build long-term, advisory relationships.”
2. Increased procurement by non-IT line of business units
Moses says non-IT line of business units are not only more aware of technology solutions, but more able to procure the solutions they need, themselves.
“This presents an opportunity for the channel to simplify the procurement process for non-IT staff,” he adds.
3. Greater collaboration over IT decisions
IT and non-IT teams are increasingly working closely together to benefit from fast business unit procurement with the security of IT oversight.
For Moses, IT teams are likely to control at least half of the technology budget, and business units will still keep IT involved, even if they make the final purchasing decision.
“Channel sales teams can address the collaboration trend by framing IT sales conversations for both IT and non-IT clients,” he explains.
4. New skills to encourage innovation added to IT function
In many cases, Moses believes innovation is motivating IT to work even more closely with business units to develop new solutions.
“The channel can provide the technical and business-related skills necessary to support business innovation,” he adds. “This can be achieved through training, hiring, and partnering.”
5. Increased need to manage data independently
Many organisations are discovering data silos as they audit their internal data.
According to research by CompTIA, 48 per cent of organisations want to utilise their existing data more fully.
Consequently, the channel can help these organisations consolidate this data and understand the complete set, and then undergo more advanced analytics.
“The channel must address information and systems holistically,” adds Seth Robinson, Senior Director, CompTIA.
“The opportunity is in how data is managed today, and how systems are built and designed for the future.
“Overall there are increased opportunities for the channel by virtue of the fact that nearly every manager now has a de facto IT function.
“That gives channel sales representatives more people to speak to in each organisation, and more opportunities to act as a trusted advisor.
"This will ultimately benefit the channel as these organisations look for help in managing and consolidating their IT procurement processes.”