Natee Meepian - stock.adobe.com
Dell has alerted its channel to customer areas of investment around security, cloud and 5G, as the supplier gauges where spending will be coming from across UK business in the next five years.
The supplier has been keen to get a sense of where customers are heading as they emerge from the pandemic, as well as what technologies are going to be backed in the medium-term.
The Dell research, carried out by Opinium, found that 97% of those in IT roles quizzed believed that modernising their technology systems was important if they wanted to remain competitive.
Dayne Turbitt, senior vice-president and general manager of Dell Technologies in the UK, said that security being at the top of the list would not be a surprise to many in the channel. “People have fast-tracked, and as you can see from the survey, everyone will talk about having accelerated their digital transformation between two and four years,” he said. “They’ve done that with limited governance, so what they’re finding now is a desperate need to respond to ransomware attacks and protect the data they have in their organisation.”
He added that there had been a shift to the cloud, accelerated during the pandemic, and that the increasing interest in 5G was a consequence of the hybrid working model and the need for decent connectivity.
Artificial intelligence, which was fourth on the list of areas that would receive investment, was followed by edge in sixth, but Turbitt said that there was a blurring of that category with cloud spending.
“We believe that 75% of the data will be processed at the edge,” he said. “And there’s two ways of addressing that, to have an edge strategy and to have a cloud strategy, so they’re kind of intertwined. I would say when I’m talking to clients right now that their cloud strategy has matured, to be more than just public cloud. It’s a combination of public cloud, private cloud, and then ‘what am I going to do in the factories or at the edge’.”
The Dell survey also revealed that the influence of the IT department over tech purchases was continuing to wane, with only 46% believing they held the power over buying decisions.
Turbitt said he expected that level to be higher, but that it was a consequence of the changing nature of technology: “I think that’s just a function of seeing the diversification of IT as critical to business,” he said. “As we start to get into artificial intelligence and machine learning as a service, the decision-making is devolved.”
Rob Tomlin, vice-president of UK channel at Dell Technologies, said the survey underlined the opportunities for partners to support customers.
“It’s no surprise that businesses recognise the importance of a data-first-approach,” he said. “However, it’s clear they are already struggling to make sense of the mass amount of data they have and are reluctant to invest in technologies that bring additional data.
“Here’s where channel partners are critical to success. Channel partners need to educate customers of the business benefits of emerging technology, acting as their trusted advisors and guiding them on their transformation journeys.
“By combining the channel expertise with the suite of innovations available, we can educate customers on the magnitude of the opportunity presented by emerging technologies and support them as they move forward in their transformational journeys,” said Tomlin.