More consolidated, more integrated and more secure: How the UK channel is set to change in 2020

By Vince Blackall, VP EMEA Channel Sales, Arcserve.  

With 2020 now in full swing, the UK channel is gearing up for another period of significant change. From increased cross-company and cross-industry collaboration, to more all-in-one offerings and the need to provide solutions that can more effectively combat escalating cyber threats, 2020 is set to present a different set of challenges compared to 2019.

Organisations are trying get more for their money and solve more problems with fewer solutions. As a result, the solutions and services offered by vendors are going to have to change in tandem. Here’s how we expect the UK channel to change over the next 12 months.

Shifting tactics 

Channel businesses will look to shift their strategies in 2020. For example, we’re already seeing more partnerships and more consolidation within the UK channel, and this will continue throughout the year. This will primarily be driven by the increasing need for integration and managed services, leading to bigger and more profitable transactions for the channel.

There is also the fact that businesses of all sizes are turning to the cloud, presenting a need for vendors that go beyond traditional cloud backup as demand for multi-cloud backup and disaster recovery increases. Industry consolidation will help vendors broaden their suite of services and meet these complex technical requirements. 

Finally, there is the trend of IT buying decisions becoming more horizontal and increasingly being spread across organisations. Vendors will therefore have to adapt and ensure that they can appeal to different line of business (LOB) executives for procurement and implementation, rather than just IT teams.

Integrated security

With damaging cyber attacks and data breaches affecting businesses of all sizes, and the ransomware threat continuing to increase, 2020 will present a clear need for more powerful all-in-one data protection and security solutions.

In response to the today’s threats, MSPs must turn to an integrated threat prevention solution. IT professionals need to simplify their approach by deploying a multi-layered solution that integrates threat prevention technologies with onsite and offsite business continuity, which will increase IT resiliency due to the incorporation of backup, recovery and threat prevention.

The latest all-in-one offerings allow businesses to neutralise ransomware by combining disaster recovery, application availability and endpoint protection solutions. They are also augmented by AI and deep learning techniques that detect both known and unknown malware. These multi-layered solutions can help prevent, protect and immunize backup data from cyber-attacks, setting the foundation for a ransomware-free future for businesses so they can avoid ever having to pay a ransom.

The convergence of data protection and backup

The prevalence of cybersecurity threats has also resulted in many seeking solutions that provide a multi-tier approach to IT resiliency by incorporating both backup and recovery with more extensive threat prevention technologies. In a recent survey of UK channel vendors, sixty-six percent reported that solutions which combine data security and protection capabilities to detect and recover from ransomware (all-in-one security software, backup and disaster recovery) are important or extremely important to their end-users.

Indeed, these solutions are now deemed even more important than solutions that incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) to predict disasters, or those that automate compliance.

Ultimately, organisations will seek partners that provide solutions that can ensure continuous data availability to avoid even the slightest disruption to business continuity – especially as ransomware continues to be an ever-increasing threat. Vendors have to be able to keep up with the on-demand IT environment, and expand product offerings to include continuous data replications and high availability solutions will be the best way to meet these needs.

As we move through 2020, channel businesses have to be prepared to adapt to the changes coming their way. Above all, they have to recognise that the days of selling just technology are over. They need to take the time to listen to customers and understand their specific needs before applying a solution. Only then will they be able to lead the pack in the months ahead.

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