3 Channel Opportunities To Drive Growth In A Down Economy
By Christina Walker, Blancco
The technology industry is experiencing post-pandemic whiplash. While some companies made record profits during COVID-19, now that the world has gone back to a more ordinary pace, businesses are (again) looking to downsize to remain profitable as recession looms. A long list of global brands, including Amazon, Microsoft, Salesforce, Google, and Meta, among others, are responding to uncertain economic conditions by laying off thousands of employees.
Atlantic staff writer Derek Thompson recently wrote about the current state of the tech industry, calling this era a midlife crisis and an “intermission between technological epochs.” Thompson also noted that while tech companies seem to be struggling now, this may only be a temporary situation. In fact, as the U.S. unemployment rate dipped to 3.4% (as of February 2023), channel companies that in the past may have struggled to find employees skilled in cloud and data management, endpoint security, and ESG compliance should now have access to plenty of highly capable IT talent to serve their enterprise customers.
In addition to acquiring top-notch talent currently seeking new positions, cloud migration, and digital transformation initiatives continue to provide systems integrators and service providers with new business opportunities -- especially with companies where IT needs outpace the size of in-house IT teams
In fact, from a “glass half full” perspective, new and promising business opportunities will arise from an economy predicted to redistribute IT talent and needs at enterprise organizations.' here are three market trends that present opportunities to expand channel business this year, including:
- IT Asset Overload: With more than 50 million people quitting their jobs in 2022, and a growing wave of employees being pink-slipped, companies now have an abundance of PCs, laptops, and other IT devices they no longer need. These assets are most likely sitting in storage closets and other unsecured locations with sensitive company data on them, putting organizations at risk of data theft or breach. Service providers with expertise in data sanitization best practices can help companies mitigate the risk of storing data on these devices and prepare them for either resale or reuse. Using a proven set of principles to securely sanitize each device, including having a tamper-proof audit trail with certification of erasure, companies can be sure that used and stored devices they no longer need don’t pose a risk of exposing company and customer data.
- Rising Energy Costs: Not only are companies dealing with inflation, as well as supply chain issues, and workforce challenges, but they are also facing rising energy costs. For data-driven companies, higher expenses are showing up in trickle-down costs of bloated data center storage, operations, and facilities maintenance, as well as in potentially higher charges passed down from cloud providers experiencing similar cost shifts. As they re-evaluate their overall cloud strategy and tighten up budgets, organizations should make sure to take a closer look at the data they’re storing as part of this process. Service providers adept at information life cycle management (ILM) can help enterprise customers better manage their data storage costs by using automated solutions to identify and classify data, then separating the data that must be retained for legal and compliance purposes from data that is redundant, obsolete or trivial (ROT) and should be securely erased and eradicated for good. By monitoring and better managing the data stored in the cloud, companies can decrease their yearly cloud spend.
- New ESG-related regulations: As more organizations prioritize sustainability as a core business principle integral to their brand identity, they face the potential of an increasing number of ESG-focused regulations. One example of potential new regulations: proposed requirements from the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission that will require companies to measure and publish their Scope 1 and Scope 2 carbon emissions beginning in 2024. In the EU, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), which is part of the European Green Deal, requires companies to report sustainability information under the framework of the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS). This mandate may impact more than 50,000 large and publicly listed companies based in Europe, as well as companies that have subsidiaries or branch offices there but are headquartered outside of the region. New ESG reporting requirements and companies’ internal drive for authentic sustainability improvements will provide service providers with an increasingly important role in the sustainability ecosystem. Organizations will rely on their partners to help them quantify results in tracking performance on Scope 3 emissions, including measurement, data analytics, and reporting that will be required of companies that have committed to sustainability.
These are just some of the current market trends providing channel companies with business expansion opportunities in the year ahead. One takeaway is certain: with a renewed focus on doing more with less while meeting ever-increasing revenue goals, businesses will need trusted and capable partners to help them achieve their business objectives despite the challenges ahead.
About The Author
Christina Walker, Global Director - Channel, at Blancco Technology Group, began her channel sales career in the telecom industry. Her focus was ensuring channel partner support, and she created several programs for direct and indirect groups during her tenure in the telecom sector. Christina then moved to a more software-focused industry, working and living at different times in North America, EMEA, and APAC. This global experience gave her an understanding of regional needs and helped her transform a global direct model company into an indirect model company. She is responsible for creating the channel and service provider programs at Blancco Technology Group, where she has signed more than 100 strategically aligned partners in the past five years including the latest expansion with Global System Integrators.