Report: IT Channel Companies Sharpen Focus on Emerging Tech, New Partnerships and Marketing

Published On: November 18, 2019Categories: Buzz, Uncategorized

IT channel companies are increasing their involvement with emerging technologies and actively seeking new partnering opportunities as they strive to maintain their market relevance, according to new research from CompTIA – the voice of Information Technology, an industry trade association based in suburban Chicago.

Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, drones, and the Internet of Things are viewed by many executives as an answer to the question about the channel’s future relevance.

“Most channel firms see major potential in emerging technologies,” said Carolyn April, senior director of industry analysis at CompTIA. “In many instances adoption of emerging tech remains a slow, iterative process for technology providers and customers alike. But more than half of the channel companies say they’re selling at least one category of emerging tech to customers today.”

The primary reason for adding emerging tech business lines – cited by 56 percent of companies – is the potential for greater revenue opportunities than provided by existing product offerings and customer demand.

“Customers are eager to take advantage of this new crop of technologies as a way to drive their own revenue growth or streamline their operations,” April added. “Many are turning to their current tech providers to help them get there.”

Accounting firms, law practices and digital marketing agencies are just a few examples of non-traditional players that have become sellers of technology products and services in recent years. Many channel firms have begun partnering with new market entrants. The report says three-fourths of channel firms say they frequently or occasionally partners with new players.

Greater use of marketing and social media is also in the channel’s game plan. Four in 10 firms are investing in these areas, including hiring people with marketing skills that fit best with today’s omnichannel communications environment.

The majority of companies surveyed (59 percent) believe there is some truth to the notion that the channel’s relevance is waning, though they add the caveat that future viability will likely be determined by each company’s business model.
One-fourth of channel executives queried believe that predictions of the channel’s demise are overblown, while 15 percent say there is reason to worry.

CompTIA’s “8th State of the Channel” report surveyed 505 U.S. companies engaged in the business of technology to gauge their views on today’s marketplace. These firms are among the nearly 150,000 U.S. channel companies that work with manufacturers and producers to bring technology products, services and solutions to customers.

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The report demonstrates how channel organizations are evolving their skillsets and partnership opportunities in order to keep pace and remain relevant in today’s business environment.

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