IT spending is set to remain resilient this year, with IDC forecasting that the channel will take around a third of the total.
The analyst house has published its latest Worldwide black book: live edition, which is forecasting ICT spending across Europe will grow by 2.8% this year, hitting $1.5bn.
A lot of the spending will be driven by attempts by customers to put themselves in a stronger position if the economy gets worse. As a result, cloud migrations will accelerate, software and services spending will rise, and firms will reach out to AI and other tools to try to unlock some of the benefits of automation.
Security is also an area where customers can not afford to slow investments, but IDC has started to see the impact of inflation and macroeconomic headwinds in the consumer market and in some hardware segments, including PCs, tablets and monitors.
Across Europe, IDC predicts that it will be a tough year for servers and storage as recession starts to hit in various countries, therefore it is expecting a year-on-year (YoY) decline in that product segment in 2023.
From a channel perspective, the key to success is a combination of customer and vendor relationships, and being able to deliver the in-demand products and services to users.
Where the channel wins is as a result of the growth in infrastructure spending, which should improve by 1.2% YoY in 2023. By 2026, IDC is expecting almost half of server and storage spending to continue to be generated through the channel.
“Partners will continue to help vendors in maintaining robust connections with customers to address the ever-evolving customer needs for holistic solutions rather than delivering infrastructure components,” said Lubomir Dimitrov, research manager with IDC data and analytics, Europe.
Digital transformation should also continue to be a vein that the channel can tap into, with customers looking for help dealing with multi-vendor environments.
There are signs that the channel is also going to be in a strong position in the next few years because of its ability to deliver software and services. IDC is forecasting that around 58% of software spending will be going through the channel by the end of 2023.
The role of partners in fulfilling those sales will also continue to make the indirect route to market an important one for vendors to keep cultivating and investing in.
The IDC forecasts echo the views shared by some channel leaders in recent financial updates, with the likes of CEO of Softcat Graeme Watt and CEO of Computacenter Mike Norris both talking about ongoing prospects for growth, despite macroeconomic headwinds.