Mark Carrel -

Skills issues holding back wider channel adoption of emerging tech

CompTIA takes the pulse of the UK channel and discovers more would like to be at the cutting edge but expertise is an issue

The assumption is that the channel is well placed to help customers overcome their technical problems, often providing the solution in the form of a managed service. 

But getting hold of skilled staff is not just a customer issues and resellers are also finding it difficult to get hold of people with the right expertise. Those problems are causing them to shy away from embracing some of the emerging technologies, according to CompTIA. 

The industry organisation has just produced its 8th State of the Channel study and found that resellers are clearly aware of the benefits of getting involved with technologies like IoT, 5G and AI because of the margin opportunities that come with those areas. 

The report found that many are already selling in those categories or internally testing to make sure they can provide them to customers soon. 

But more would be confident getting involved if they had more skilled staff.  Neartly 40% of those surveyed by CompTIA admitted that the need for technical training was a hurdle they had to get over and 35% commented that hiring staff with the right skills was a major challenge. 

“Most channel firms see major potential in emerging technologies,” said Carolyn April, senior director of industry analysis at CompTIA. “In many instances it remains a slow, iterative process for technology providers and customers alike. But more than half of the channel companies say they’re selling at least one category of emerging tech to customers today.” 

“Customers are eager to take advantage of this new crop of technologies as a way to drive their own revenue growth or streamline their operations,” she added. “Many are turning to their current tech providers to help them get there.” 

One of the reactions to the skills problem has been for a higher level of partnering between resellers and some of those non-traditional channel players that have found themselves being called on to sell solutions, including accounting firms, law practices and digital marketing agencies. 

“These arrangements help fill gaps in skill sets or solutions portfolios, mitigate technical complexity that prevents some companies from entering new markets, and enable an easier entry into the emerging tech arena,” April s

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