CompTIA: UK channel is transforming

Findings from channel organisation CompTIA reveal a significant shift to a managed services is happening

The UK channel is undergoing a transformation as it moves towards a model that can support cloud, mobility and managed services and starts to reshape working culture to attract the next generation of workers.

An insight into the current state of the UK channel has come from trade organisation CompTIA, which has spent the last two days meeting with resellers and distributors at its member conference in London.

In its first UK specific channel research the headline finding was that 70% of firms are undergoing business transformation in order to deliver the technology and services demanded by customers.

A combination of customers, cloud and vendors are all factors that are forcing the UK channel to make a change with 73% reporting they will be taking a different approach with sales and marketing over the next two years.

But not everyone is finding it easy with 40% finding it hard to make changes and keep the existing business going, a similar number blaming a lack of skills and 37% blaming the process of looking to hire sales staff with experience in recurring IT services revenues.

Todd Thibodeaux, CEO of CompTIA said that as well as mega trends like the cloud and shift to managed services having an impact on resellers there was also a generational issue with the millennials coming into the workplace.

He said that half of those running the channel could retire in the next eight years and there were changes coming as younger people with fresh ideas, particularly around using technology, entered the business.

"The next generation is coming through and the channel has to be prepared for that and has to be speaking their language," he said.

He added that faced with the need to change some people dug their heads in the sand but increasingly many were recognising they needed to change their businesses and had to start a transformation.

The CompTIA channel survey found that the skills identified as ones needed for future development by the channel included mobile app development, cloud, big data and analytics and a greater understanding of the role that social media could play in marketing in the future.

The threats faced by partners are perhaps a little bit more familiar with price competition, margin erosion and the challenge from new entrants some of the main concerns.

CompTIA only provided some highlights from the survey at its member and partner conference and the full report is expected to be released later this year.

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