By Ally Kutz, contributing writer
More than 60 percent of channel respondents are optimistic about the future of the IT channel, according to CompTIA’s 5th Annual State of the Channel report released earlier this month.
The study, which polled across the IT channel, found that reasons for this optimism include cloud computing opening new doors, customer demand for managed services, customers wanting to have a local provider as a trusted advisor, and broader use of tech across all types of customers — which means a greater need for IT experts.
Conversely, 14 percent felt pessimistic about the future of the IT channel, a view more common among small channel firms (10 to 99 employees) and younger channel firms (in business for less than 5 years). Of their chief complaints, the top reason cited was general business challenges, followed by skills gaps for emerging/complex IT and wider availability of purchase options and customer self-sufficiency.
While the channel is growing year over year, the average size of current channel customers still falls toward companies on the smaller end of the scale. Respondents reported that 30 percent of their customer base is made up of micro-sized customers (fewer than 10 employees). Another 30 percent of customers are small organizations (10 to 99 employees), with the remaining 40 percent broken up between medium (100 to 499 employees) and large (500+ employees) organizations.
When looking to the future of the channel, the report lists seven keys to keep the channel healthy:
- training, both business and IT
- availability of skilled workers
- vendors truly committed to partnering
- support from industry trade associations
- more widely available and valued certifications
- rethinking the channel value proposition
- younger generations embracing the channel
The complete report is available to CompTIA premier members; click here for information.