Apparently, the best time to invest in business is when there’s blood on the streets. That unsettling August week of rioting and looting provided plenty of that. So investment-wise, it makes it as good an opportunity as ever to consider how much the IT high street will change in the coming five years.
Ultimately, I believe, much like high street insurance brokers, record shops and book resellers, there will far fewer VARs knocking about in five years time. In terms of commoditised IT sundries like capacity, storage, communications, processing power, applications and software etc., these could all be bought by the individual user (rather than the company) through self-service portals that are dynamic, secure, and stretch-to-fit. You never know, in five years time we may be buying support renewals on moneysupermarket.com – now there’s an idea!
Count yourself lucky because you’d be facing a far worse state-of-affairs in America. Over there, channel players have already been getting squeezed out of business by more than just progressive cloud-delivery business models. To avoid that fate, resellers need to cement their presence with customers by always looking to constantly add value.
And besides, it’s not five years from now yet. In the meantime the channel has to pursue a dual approach, and not like the US where directly appointed VARs exist merely to act as fulfilment houses, adding little or no value. The UK IT market still very much relies on the scale, reach and customer relationships that the reseller brings. Long may that continue to be made to count for real value…