What Channel Partners Might Expect
2020 is here! To kick it off, we asked the leaders of two of Tech Data’s hottest next-generation practice areas – Cloud Solutions and IoT and Analytics Solutions – to weigh in on what they see as the major predictions for technology distribution and the trends to watch for as the year, and the next decade unfolds.
From Stacy Nethercoat, Vice President, Cloud Solutions, Americas
Prediction #1: Digital Transformation Will Blur Channel Partner Types
As partners work to adapt to the new world of the digital economy, the pressure is on to disrupt – each other and ourselves – and change business models, which will blur channel partner types. With organizations rapidly moving toward third platform technologies, an expanded vendor partner ecosystem, a redefined distributor value proposition, and new competitors and new buyers -- disruption is everywhere. Partners at all levels in the value chain are looking to carve out differentiated niches and take on new roles and functions previously offered by others, or maybe even by no one (white space). We will see legacy transactional partners offering professional services and traditional professional services players looking to capture margin from transacting technology. In all this role reversal and transformation, partners of all types and sizes are getting involved in IP development and evolving quickly from providers to producers. Where lines formerly more clearly defined partner types in the IT channel, this significant transformation will bring less definition, but also new opportunities.
Prediction #2: Lines of Business Will Drive Partner Engagements Up-Market
In 2019, IDC predicted that line-of-business investment in organizations would surpass IT departments’ investments, driven by digital transformation, pressure to drive growth and the ease of deploying cloud-based software.1 In 2020, from a channel perspective, the investment spent by lines of business will skew towards higher-end consulting and professional services, advance analytics and business process reengineering associated with IP development. For our resellers, IT distributors like Tech Data can help locate opportunities to grow in these emerging markets.
Prediction #3: Every Enterprise Will Be a Platform
As enterprises become highly dependent on technology to operate and drive growth to compete in the digital and networked economy, executing a “platform” strategy will be paramount. An effective platform strategy connects an enterprise into key resources and partners that synergistically come together and generate value that is beneficial to all involved. In 2020, Tech Data will bring to market our most advanced approach, enabling platform optimization strategies. This new way will deliver the most relevant, timely and profitable engagements with our channel partners, who will orchestrate a change in the IT ecosystem.
Prediction #4: Channel Professionals will Become Orchestrators
As digital transformation takes hold in the channel, channel professionals need to evolve their understanding of value creation from a linear process to a more parallel one – a network of interrelated and often unknown entities creating and consuming value. Orchestrating all this complexity and discovering new partnerships to support one’s value proposition is what’s needed in a digital ecosystem economy.
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IOT and Analytics Predictions
From Andrea Miner, Director of Consulting Services and Marketing, North America
Prediction #1: IOT and Analytics Opportunities Will Grow to 40% of the Net New Global Revenue Opportunity
Next-gen technologies are driving the majority of the IT market revenue growth, most notably IoT and Analytics, which represent the single largest market opportunity today. According to IDC, the net new revenue available over the next three years in North America alone is $100 billion, representing 40% of the total global market opportunity.2 IT distributors, like Tech Data, are uniquely positioned to aggregate scalable, repeatable solutions that will enable partners to win in this space.
Prediction #2: Proliferation of Data Will Drive More Multi-Vendor Solutions to Solve Complex Business Challenges
The proliferation of data has created an opportunity never before imagined. Businesses are leveraging data to drive cost savings, improve customer experiences, create new products and wholly new business models along with many more business outcomes, resulting in more profitable, competitive companies. Leveraging technology becomes a necessary element to business success. Multifaceted technologies in IoT and Analytics provide a competitive advantage to businesses that leverage the power of data and its crucial associated insights. IT distributors will leverage data proliferation to create repeatable, scalable multi-vendor solutions that focus on enabling partners to deliver business outcomes to their end customers.
Prediction #3: A Single-Solution Approach Will Enable IoT Practices to Build Themselves
Channel partners will capitalize on the IoT and Analytics opportunity by adopting a single-solution approach, whereby a partner chooses a single solution to focus on rather than building out a comprehensive practice. In response to the changing needs of end-user customers and the impact of next-gen technologies, partners have already made significant investments in next-gen technology business models. These investments do not leave room for partners to adopt additional technology-focused practices. For that reason, rather than investing resources to build an IoT and Analytics practice, distributors will enable partners to adopt a single solution that will support partners to have IoT and Analytics conversations with their end-user customers, adding a new level of value. These conversations are key and will lead to additional opportunities that will add more IoT solutions to their portfolio. The result is an IoT and Analytics practice built from the bottom up. The single-solution approach enables partners to participate in IoT without the investment required to build out practices. The practices will build themselves because when partners start having conversations about IoT specific to single solutions, they will become trusted advisors in the space, and more opportunities will follow.
Prediction #4: Leveraging Adjacencies Will Enable Growth
Partners will leverage their existing expertise in vertical industries, vendor relationships and cloud to enable their success in IoT and Analytics, without disrupting their existing businesses. Distributors will help partners identify and leverage adjacencies within their existing business by providing repeatable, scalable solutions that complement their existing business and provide new ways to grow cloud consumption and revenue.
Prediction #5: Edge Computing Will Drive Data Center Modernization
The significance of the edge computing will drive growth in the channel. According to IDC, in the next three years, more than 50% of new enterprise IT infrastructure deployed will be at the edge rather than corporate data centers – up from less than 10 percent today.3 The impact of edge computing will result in enterprises modernizing their data centers to support market changes, hence driving growth from which channel partners will benefit.
To learn more about Tech Data’s IoT and Analytics Solutions, click here for our Solutions Catalog.
About the Author
Mardi Larson serves as Tech Data’s External Communications Manager for the Americas. She started out her career in technology in the supercomputing industry at Cray Research and since then has worked for B2B and B2C mature and start-up brands and business across a range of marketing and communications roles. Mardi’s career profile can be found at LinkedIn.
1 April 2018 – IDC Worldwide Semiannual Worldwide IT Spending Guide: Line of Business; Doc #P305800719.
2 October 2018 – IDC Worldwide Black Book: 3rd Platform Edition; Doc #P196580719.
3 October 2019 – IDC FutureScape: Worldwide IT Industry 2020 Predictions; Doc #US45599219.