The issues were canvassed at a recent CompTIA ANZ channel community workshop in Sydney — attended by 70 members — which established the foundation for an industry “change roadmap” looking at industry changes including “relevant elements that are fading, current, and emerging, across technologies, services, partnerships, customer expectations, regulation, and the channel”.
Jim Hamilton, vice-president, member communities, CompTIA, said, “It was clear from the discussions that the representatives from vendors, solutions providers, and distributors, already have a clear understanding of some of the key focus areas for change over the short- to medium-term”.
“Most attendees agreed that traditional IT vendors, on-premise computing, single-vendor partnerships, brand loyalty, and hardware-centric solutions are all fading. Current elements include savvier customers that self-educate, and know more about potential solutions and options than in the past,” Hamilton said.
“Social media is likely to play a larger role in purchase decisions as people look to see what their peers say about the item they’re purchasing. That is likely to be reflected in the way they buy technology for their businesses: they will know more, understand more, and demand more than they have done previously.
“The group agreed that, currently, customers tend to want solutions delivered faster and have high expectations. As a result, more partnerships and collaborations are emerging, along with technology that can predict customer behaviour.”
Hamilton says other emerging elements include augmented reality, especially following the success of Pokémon Go, an augmented reality game, as well as the Internet of Things, everything as-a-service, more disruptors like Uber, and “the need for channel organisations to be able to provide an end-to-end solution seamlessly, necessitating more integrated partnerships and collaborations”.
“Now that we have identified key elements of change, the CompTIA ANZ Channel Community will be able to start working in earnest on a roadmap to help all channel-related businesses navigate this change more successfully. These changes offer significant opportunities for businesses to thrive; it’s simply a matter of approaching change strategically and purposefully.”