Global expansion on the minds of UK channel companies

Nearly two fifths (39%) of UK channel organisations believe that the global IT channel will expand in the next two years. This is according to research commissioned by Agilitas IT Solutions, the leading global innovator of customer driven IT channel services.

This is supported by 52% of UK channel businesses actively looking to expand their businesses internationally, with Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America proving the most attractive destinations. Furthermore, nearly two-thirds of channel respondents currently operate in the APAC region, while 32% are looking to move into South American territories, reflecting the maturity of developing regions in creating a truly connected global IT channel.

The findings have been released by Agilitas as part of its research into the attitudes of the UK IT channel towards globalisation, and the issues and barriers presented to companies that wish to facilitate international growth.

Although there is an overly positive outlook from the channel towards global growth, UK businesses still maintain a degree of caution when approaching globalisation. For example, a quarter of decision makers believe that Brexit and the 'Trump era' will have a profound impact on global IT channel growth, with a fifth of all companies believing the European Union exit will significantly delay growth plans.

Additional logistical, practical and financial considerations of globalisation have also been identified by the UK IT channel, either as barriers towards domestic and international growth, or to provide opportunities to expand. A third believe that having a presence in other regions minimises the financial risk of having a purely UK-focused business, ahead of the UK's official EU exit, while 20% of decision makers cite internal finances and infrastructure issues as the main barriers towards expanding.

"It's clear from our research that optimism for expanding internationally has never been higher, within the UK IT channel. However, they now require actionable insights to consider how, why and when they should undertake this significant internal transformational shift," comments Shaun Lynn, CEO of Agilitas.

"A mainly prosperous economic landscape, allied to an increased number of industry collaborations, is increasing turnover, allowing businesses to analyse how they can stimulate this further in new markets."

The research also revealed:

  • 24% think changing political landscapes will profoundly impact global IT channel growth
  • 18% of decision makers think there will be no barriers to consolidating the global IT channel
  • 38% are prioritising globalisation to take advantage of potential new business opportunities
  • 20% are collaborating with international partners due to a lack of owned skills

The introduction of relevant solutions for partners has been a clear catalyst for globalisation, yet UK businesses are being careful with expanding into new markets if the customer demand doesn't exist. This is reflected in 41% of decision makers citing a lack of customer requirements as the
main reason that they have not expanded.

"This wave of positivity is extremely encouraging for raising the profile of UK companies, that recognise the strength and opportunity in forming a collective global channel hub. However, decision makers are remaining realistic and not getting caught up in the hype. This is why many are choosing to focus on their core market, ensuring they are meeting the needs of their customer base before scaling," added Lynn.

The research was carried out with over 100 decision makers from the leading Managed Service Providers, IT resellers and channel service companies, which have a fixed office in the UK, in June 2018.

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