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IT Solution Providers – A Struggle for Relevance

There are major shifts taking place in the Channel (IT Solution Providers) industry.  These trends are a good thing for most, but devastating for some.

There was a time when corporate IT needs were relatively predictable and didn’t change as often as they do now, a cloud was a visible mass of liquid or frozen particles suspended in the atmosphere, channel partners played more of a fulfillment role, the emerging tech ecosystem was far less crowded, and venture capital flowed more sparingly out of funds a fraction the size of today’s funds.  All that has changed dramatically, creating for many channel partners a struggle for relevance.

What we see happening as a result of all this is four things: 1) channel companies who are not willing to invest in a more differentiated future are going away or being scooped up by private equity or a larger strategic. 2) corporate IT execs are leaning on channel partners more than ever to be sophisticated, educated, and biased in their solution recommendations, 3) the best channel partners are rising to the top very quickly, and 4) startups are realizing if they can build the right channel strategy, identify onboard and maintain the correct channel relationships, and do all this at an earlier stage in their growth, they’ll get to market faster and with better-staying power than their competitors. 

So who wins in all of this? 

  • Corporate IT buyers and startups win IF they are choosing the right VARs, SIs, and consultancies to work with. 
  • Channel partners who are rise to the occasion, be early to market with the best emerging tech solutions and take clients and market share from their competitors who will not make it through the struggle. 

The rate of change is faster than ever before, leaving many individuals and companies behind.  But those who see it for what it is and are willing to invest in that change accordingly, they stand to win like never before.

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