Channel leaders need to keep one eye on the future to ensure they do not miss out on emerging technologies that could have the potential to change the landscape.
One of the main themes at the CompTIA member and partner conference held in London over the last couple of days was around encouraging the channel to keep up with what was happening across a wide range of technologies that the industry lobby group has deemed to be important.
CompTIA has identified the next wave of technologies that should be ones to watch out for, including the likes of Blockchain, AI and 5G.
"We think that there is a really good educational opportunity for people to get good conversational knowledge about these technologies," said Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO at CompTIA. "We want to raise the awareness and the understanding so they can be making better decisions."
"If you are a tech company then you are trying to keep your head above water and move your business along looking at those things thinking 'am I missing the boat? Am I behind the curve?' They are not but the first thing they need to do is to become knowledgeable about them," he said.
He said that a lot of the technologies that were being signaled as areas for the future would not be generating significant revenues for the channel for possibly years to come but, "they need to keep one eye on the future".
"There is a big fear among people that they are missing something, that they are missing a wave, but they are really not. Things like artificial intelligence, machine learning and IoT will be adopted and rolled out over a long period of time. It is not something that will impact their business immediately," he said.
Part of the CompTIA mission is to drive the debate about the future and the event was a chance to stir debate in the channel about what could be happening with talk of delivery drones and autonomous vehicles.
There is an expectation that the 5G rollout will be a channel opportunity because of the need for infrastructure and many SMEs continue to miss out on using technology to improve their operations, which is a significant opportunity for resellers.
The organisation has also been pushing an agenda to tackle the skills gap and to encourage greater diversity in the channel.
There should be updates on both of the fronts in the next few days, with the organisation releasing research on both subjects, but Thibodeaux said that he was feeling more positive about the industry.
"The industry is being powered by cloud and cyber security right now. What's going to be the things that will power it in the future?" he said.
"There is going to be tremendous infrastructure that's going to be needed to be put in place to power all this stuff. Whether it's smart cities, drones, autonomous vehicles, Ai, machine learning, virtual/augmented reality or blockchain it will need a lot of infrastructure. So hardware companies and hardware will raise it's prominence in the market again," he said "We will be selling a lot of gear and maintaining and servicing it."