The top 10 IT Europa European Channel Predictions for 2014 include:
- PCs continue to lose ground to other platforms, even in the enterprise the impact of new form factors, falling prices and squeezed margins will continue to pile pressure on traditional resellers
- Software, and ISVs gain influence over platforms increasingly it will be software that dictates the choice of technologies with more and more of it available as-a-service
- Vendors seek new ways to gain customer influence, starting to use Big Data analysis tools increasing use of business intelligence and marketing automation will move from enterprise sector into SME potentially threatening traditional lines of channel communications
- Distributor consolidation and product area diversification continues, matched by emergence of new specialist players continuing pressures on margin and the impact of the Cloud will further drive a race to scale, to expand coverage, grab niche players and reduce competition
- Questions on how channels charge for knowledge and advice find few answers further cloud penetration of the SME sector and the continued growth in Hybrid IT will increase the demand for integration skills but with increasing commoditisation of product and the continued growth in on-line ordering how will it be charged for?
- New types of server and server supply models emerge growth in the supply of specialist bespoke servers, particularly for datacentre applications will cause problems for channels as they become marginalised
- Security and mobility stay favourite areas for start-ups; expect plenty of issues and scares growth and increasing penetration of mobile technologies is set to continue but the need to secure mixed networked environments will perhaps spur even greater growth
- Machine-to-machine, particularly wearables, exhibit rapid growth but channel impact is limited new technologies and applications will abound but few will fit easily with traditional channels and new routes to market will emerge
- Enterprise apps and their marketplaces abound, but with uncertain quality increasing mobile penetration will drive demand for apps to link corporate data but quality, security, licensing, management, payment systems and support will become issues
- Demand for skills in the channel creates shortages, provoking more M&A activity across frontiers investment in training has been hard hit during the recent recession, as growth returns it will highlight shortages in skills in such areas as application development, networking and integration
The pace of technological advance and changing supply and business models are combining to create a perfect storm of challenges for traditional routes to market, commented Alan Norman, Managing Director of IT Europa. Further casualties, an increase in M&A activity and the emergence of new channels can all be expected in the year ahead.
Many of the issues behind some of these trends and predictions will provide the focus of discussions during some of IT Europas forthcoming events including the European ISV Convention 2014 which takes place at the Lancaster London Hotel, on 26 March 2014.