The biggest challenges and opportunities for channel partners in 2021

Despite the ongoing COVID pandemic, there will be full of new opportunities for partners who are willing to seize them, says Jesper Hersbro, distribution manager, Benelux and Nordics at Vertiv

The biggest challenges and opportunities for channel partners in 2021 2
The biggest challenges and opportunities for channel partners in 2021

Despite expectations that the COVID pandemic will continue to affect companies across Europe, the IT industry remains in good health and there are plenty of positive signs that partners will be able to take advantage of new opportunities in 2021.

The COVID pandemic has shown that companies are willing to invest across their IT infrastructure as digital transformation becomes a vital component to their future success.

We therefore all hope to hit what we might call the digital accelerator in 2021.

Clearly, it has been a turbulent period for everyone. While customer budgets have been tightened and projects have been pushed back, it is all happening against an expectation of upcoming massive investments in digital transformation.

As the research firm Gartner Group recently pointed out: “The best-performing companies are accelerating digital innovation and leveraging new technologies to emerge stronger on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.” When translated into numbers, despite the global pandemic, direct digital transformation investments are still growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.5 percent from 2020 to 2023 and are expected to approach $ 6.8 trillion.

And while there has been a lot of investment in public cloud services, it is not necessarily detrimental to business investment. According to a recent study by the Uptime Institute, the enterprise data center is neither dead nor dying. More than half of the workload is expected to remain in local data centers by 2022 and beyond.

We also expect strong growth in edge computing accelerated by investment in IoT, and when it gains real traction, 5G.

According to IDC, the global edge computing market will reach $ 25 billion. In 2024 with a growth rate (CAGR) of 12.5 percent in the period 2019-2024. So while there may be turbulence and cuts in IT budgets in the short term, the long-term picture is much more positive.

The robustness of the IT infrastructure must be kept in mind

There has been a lot of recent investment in specific areas of digital transformation based on necessity: teleworking, distance learning, telemedicine, etc. However, the increased dependence and focus on digital services leads to increased responsibility and importance, both in terms of IT equipment and physical infrastructure ( power, cooling, etc.) that support it.

On the IT side, as a recent report from Interpol showed, there has been an increase in hacking and malware alongside the pandemic. In fact, cybercriminals allegedly use information related to the pandemic to break companies’ defenses or exploit vulnerabilities created by having multiple teleworkers.

A recent report from the Uptime Institute revealed that data center operators are planning to increase the amount of physical redundancy per place to protect against future disruption from, not only the current pandemic, but crucial future pandemics and climate change. For example, at least one major cloud service provider asks its colocation partners to ensure N + 2 redundancy on all of their sites. It is likely to drive continued investment in physically resilient equipment. According to Omdia, the global UPS market will see five percent growth in 2021.

Partner opportunityis

So in 2021, there will be a number of customers stepping on the accelerator and accelerating their digital transformation projects. But there will also be a lot of start-up and stop activities and a need to ensure that digital projects are safe and resilient.

Customers need guidance on how to balance digital acceleration in the right areas and ensure that the digital transformation makes their business more productive. Here we see three areas where partners can differentiate:

  • New digital technology that challenges existing skills: partners can bridge the gap between the known and the unknown
  • Added value enables greater returns: partners who can add value to the customer’s supply chain can take higher prices
  • Customization requirements are growing: partners who can bring customized solutions are gaining in simplicity and speed

The continuing uncertainty from the pandemic combined with the implementation of advanced new digital projects will multiply the potential risk for some customers. Given the increased risk, they will look for reliable partners to guide them through. A good team in the “pit”, to use a motorsport term, can be crucial to keep them in the race.

By: Jesper Hersbro, distribution manager, Benelux and Nordics at Vertiv

Source: IT-Kanalen by

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