There seemed to be a flurry of market studies – I think everyone is thinking about 2022.
TechAisle weighs in with the divergence of channel sales messaging and customer value… which is not a new trend. Quoting their research:
“As seen in the data, quality of services provided by the partner and technical expertise are the most important reasons why customers embrace their channel suppliers, followed by industry knowledge and long-term relationships, understanding of business needs, deliver business outcomes, and pricing. On the other hand, “features and functionality,” “affordable price,” and “availability as a subscription service” are messages used by more than 50% of the channel, “ease of use,” “robust security,” and “industry/vertical-specific relevance” by about 40%, and “affordable maintenance and support,” “customizable to meet business needs” and “deliver business outcomes” by 30%-36% of channel members. Thus, the messaging by partners differs from what customers value.”
Further quoting. “Data shows that the most crucial customer requirements: implementing new technology solutions, accessing skills that they lack internally, help in acquiring, deploying, and supporting technology, and help in building a digital business strategy are all cited by 44%-59% of firms, and “need help in creating a roadmap for adoption of technology” by 22% – an area that Techaisle believes will become more important over time and maybe more important already than this data would suggest. However, the channel partners’ target positioning is very different. Their primary focus is on supplying “products and services to sustain IT infrastructure” – not explicitly on the list of most crucial customer technology requirements, but generally essential to the functioning of customer IT environments. “
Research from Inmarsat, a mobile satellite communications firm, says Internet of Things will overtake cloud computing, security, big data and digital transformation as the greatest proportion of IT budgets over the next three years. The research also says that current investments are paying off with reduction in operational costs. Of note – it’s varied across industry sectors, with oil and gas leading the way, followed by electrical utilities, transport and logistics, mining, and finally, agricultural businesses.
Not all that cloud spend is good – 29% of SaaS software spend is underutilized or wasted, per Flexera’s State of ITAM 2022 report. Of course, 31% of spend in desktop software is too. One third of IT asset management teams say they currently track SaaS usage, but half say they plan to.
Why do we care?
For those vendors listening, a small wakeup reminder here – you are judged most on the quality of service and your technical expertise too. For IT service companies, again, a reminder – you are hired for your skills in technology and help developing a technology strategy. That’s way more than that primary focus of “sustaining IT infrastructure.”
TechAisle is way nicer than I am – if a services company is just sustaining IT infrastructure, you are dead company walking. For those that listened to my pushback on Windows 11 reluctance, this is why.
Which is why the other data matters. An easy headline is the waste in SaaS applications – but it’s roughly the same waste as desktop software. The boring but true headline is that it’s the same… and SaaS is a better spend.
Leading to that last data point – cloud isn’t the end state too. IoT won’t be the “next thing” for every industry. This data just points out how the next thing is likely to vary by industry. Where as a decade ago I might have been dismissive of verticalization as an option, now its so much more critical.