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Surviving 2009 and Thriving in 2010
Analyst firm Gartner Inc. is predicting the new “normal for IT,” wherein businesses are expecting different results from their IT investments.†
By Tiffani Bova
In a year in which IT budgets were cut drastically, planned hardware refreshes were delayed, flat growth was positive, and 2010 couldn’t come fast enough, channel companies found themselves in uncharted waters. Those that started the year with a less-than-healthy position may not have been able to survive, while others were able to course correct early enough in 2009 to weather the storm and hope for a better 2010.
Either way, Gartner is predicting that we are now experiencing the new “normal for IT,” which means a new normal for the channel. Businesses have hit the reset button and today expect different results from their IT investments. These include:
- “World-class” solutions have been replaced by those that are “good enough.”
- Business leaders want and expect a more practical view of IT and what it can do for their companies with much less risk taking.
- Leaders want to simplify and consolidate existing investments.
- Business agility is now about contraction and expansion.
- Fluffy and unsubstantiated business cases are no longer acceptable.
- There is a growing interest in new business and IT models, such as cloud computing.
- Business owners want greater transparency and linkage between business and IT.
What does all this mean to the indirect channel? It means solution providers will need to become much better business consultants to keep the conversation focused on how IT can help organizations succeed, and not get caught up in price negotiations. So build or leverage capabilities in alternative delivery models to capitalize on cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS). Develop industry expertise and have a point of view on what clients in specific industries must do to successfully navigate the new realities.
Turmoil and change can spell many opportunities for solution providers that can capitalize on them. The recession has slowed and altered the market. Thoughtful providers will take this opportunity to position themselves to be the recipients of the pent-up demand.
TIFFANI BOVA is vice president, research, at Gartner Inc. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.