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New Channel Focus: Service & Security

The market for channel programs is shifting.  An emphasis in the market today is revising strategies because changes are happening in the technology market as the needs of their customers are changing. It is incumbent for technology companies to make that change too, and shift from providing products to providing more service-based assistance.

The old way of dealing with change was to refresh programs that became insufficient for growth as companies shifted to the cloud.  Now companies need to be able to adjust to the transformation of their business partners so they are providing the right kinds of services to meet business growth opportunities.  Technology companies need to show their partners they are prepared to meet their new emphasis.  Trends show that growth in technology companies is lower than previously expected, therefore, successful companies will find previously underserved companies looking for technology help.  These new customers are often midmarket companies that have been underserved in the past because they have smaller tech budgets.  Often these services include helping with security.

According to Channelinsider, the cost of breaches is important no matter the size of the company.  When a company suffers a breach in security, the following was reported:

  • 22% lost customers
  • 29% lost important revenue
  • 23% lost other opportunities to add customers due to security concerns.

All businesses face the same issues when looking for technology services to decrease these security burdens. 

  • More than one in three companies were worried about their budget as they evaluated ways to increase their technology security. 
  • More than one quarter of companies were worried about whether security software or hardware would be compatible with their current technology. 
  • One in four companies were also concerned about whether their personnel would have the training to maximize the effectiveness of security, and
  • One quarter were also concerned about certification requirements.  Certification requirements could be HIPPA regulations, or other similar and strictly regulated data.

Overall, providing services will be the way technology spending increases in 2017 and most likely for several years in the future.  Channelinsider states that when all statistics from 2016 are in, 59% of IT budgets will have been spent on services of some kind – whether hardware or software – while telecom services will have made up the other 41%.  Services are the future of the IT industry.

In a survey, 73% of technology industry executives were either extremely or highly confident in applying technology to meet business goals.  IT companies will need to focus their strategies on several ideas and principles to best meet the needs of clients and customers in the changing industry.

One solution is to have incentives that will encourage businesses to consider new market opportunities.  This might mean showing mid-sized businesses how the technology company can help them create more market opportunities; and to help them be more secure.  These improvements can not only help technology companies enter new markets, but it can help these markets take advantage of changes in technology in their industries.

Security is one of the important ways that all industries are concerned with which presents the IT industry with service opportunities.  Many businesses have cobbled their own security solutions over time and as the threats grow, the solutions have evolved and morphed – sometimes into something more complex, but often something that has become unmanageable.  Nearly two-thirds of companies that took part in the Channelinsider survey reported that they used from six to more than fifty different security products.  Like a patient who keeps taking more and more medicine, eventually adding more different solutions just becomes more expensive and it isn’t necessarily making the company safer (or healthier).

Almost one third of the companies were impacted by a security breach, two thirds of those companies had their systems shut down from one hour to eight hours.  Any shutdown impacts profit, and partner and consumer confidence are also impacted in ways that are almost impossible to quantify regarding the impact on future profits.

Part of the problem is familiar.  Adware found its way into 75% of businesses and this is because 65% of the emails received are spam and 8% of spam is malicious.  These assaults on a business become problems because of employee apathy.  Nearly 44% of the security alerts are either not reported or not investigated and these include legitimate alerts.  Employees see so many of these alerts they eventually ignore them thinking they are all bogus.

This is the opportunity that technology companies have to provide services for companies who are losing valuable time to these legitimate security problems.  Companies are seeking experts to provide them with advice and consulting on as-needed services.  They also need auditing of their technology.  Services can also be provided to respond to incidents when they occur, monitoring for tech assaults, and watching for common threats.

It is these services that will help keep technology companies busy – providing the much needed services to smaller and mid-sized companies that thought they were priced out of the tech security market.  It is not hardware that will make these companies safe and improve their profits, it is services to ensure they won’t become victims of malicious actors which prevent them from doing their jobs.