Ahead of 2018, distributor Ingram Micro Cloud has revealed the five areas for focus in the channel as traditional models transform, and the intelligent future of cloud takes hold.
According to Apay Obang-Oyway, Director Cloud & Software, UK&I at Ingram Micro, resellers looking to uphold their competitive advantage in 2018 will be playing a lead role in increasing innovation in cloud among end users. He said: "All members of the channel, from vendor to distributor to reseller, will be impacted by the shift taking place in the channel now and into 2018.
The current disruption of existing markets with state-of-the-art technologies is all driven by advancements in cloud, particularly Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), and the channel is best placed to deliver it. Largely we are seeing the channel become highly transparent, which can also expose resellers to numerous opportunities for growth and innovation in cloud.
"In adapting to and preparing for the shift, already evidently underway as users start to look to the channel as trusted business advisors, there are several areas that can be examined to make sure your channel business is 'fit' for the coming year," commented Apay.
Upskilling and training staff is key to ensuring growth in 2018 with fresh and more advanced technology emerging via the channel. While talent can be difficult to obtain with the challenge of a digital skills gap in the UK, current staff can acquire new skills as well as perfecting existing abilities, helping fill these skills shortages. Making one employee proficient in multiple roles increases their value to the business by enabling them to take on extra tasks with new technologies should they be required to.
While many organisations still perceive IaaS as a colossal move from what is considered a 'traditional IT infrastructure setup', IaaS is critical to realising the intelligent future of the cloud. After all, Uber wasn't built on SaaS! Building confidence in selling IaaS, such as Microsoft Azure, and championing the innovation and growth it can bring – without being afraid of a new technology – will be important next year and beyond.
3. Recognising your strengths
Identifying your low hanging fruit and playing to those strengths is a key theme for 2018. Learn from those implementations that have been successful and refine and reuse that for a repeat success. Smart businesses know the best strategy is often the one that is most likely to produce quick results. Focus on tried and tested methods and customers that are easiest to attract.
4. Understand your vertical specialisation
Getting to know your own vertical is something that often gets little attention. It's not only knowing about the sector, it's knowing the surrounding environment too. Make sure you become an expert in your specialisation while also considering the global and international factors that affect economies and sectors, and analyse the impact of customers, competitors and suppliers on that vertical. Get under the skin of what makes your customers – and their industry – tick.
5. Hiring the right staff
Businesses have the best chance of success if they hire the right people for the job. Skilled, enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff will help organisations get ahead in 2018 resulting in smooth growth in the upcoming year. Along with a new hire being a culture fit, businesses need to make sure they are digital all-rounders ready to cope with surviving the channel and enable businesses to become the fittest. Previous training, knowledge, skills, and personality traits are the key points in the hiring journey but looking at the bigger hiring picture and what it means for the business, is a key point in 2018.