CompTIA Predicts Strong IT Growth, Cloud Getting Stronger and Security Not Getting Better

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Channel advocacy group CompTIA tracks the MSP market as well as the overall IT space. News for the latter is good, though the growth is not exactly stunning. One item the group tracks in their annual IT Trends Analysis survey is what they call “Business Confidence”. According to the execs surveyed, the economy is in good shape and IT pros have a positive outlook.

Meanwhile growth is healthy, but nowhere the double digits that characterized the 1980’s and 1990’s. In fact, CompTIA expects 4.1 percent growth globally this year, creating a $3.5 trillion market.

CompTIA has been covering the market since 1982 so it knows its history. In fact, the group identifies three stages in the IT market, beginning with the era of the mainframe, moving onto PC/Internet, and finally cloud/mobile.

The cloud is ushering new technologies. “Moving forward, new elements built from a cloud mindset will play larger roles. Software-defined components will lead to hyper converged infrastructure. Block chain will redefine database architecture. Artificial intelligence will provide a new layer for technology interaction. These changes, as with cloud, are primarily focused on the backend and will see initial adoption at the enterprise level before moving downstream into the SMB space,” the report argued.

Security Woes Persist

Security tools been ever advancing. The only trouble is that the hackers are getting better every day. “The DDoS attack on DNS provider Dyn placed security back in the spotlight thanks to the nature of the target and the use of connected security cameras as botnet attackers. However, another theme emerged from the aftermath of that attack: massive security incidents are not yet driving companies to revolutionize their security approach,” CompTIA believes. “The headline-making breaches of the past three years have not put companies out of business, and research studies show that most firms are not fully prepared for a cyberattack. Unfortunately, the event that creates a tipping point will need to have greater consequences before there is a broad shift in transforming security technology, processes, and education.”

The Channels Shifts to Services

In the early days of PCs, the channel was largely made up of resellers who added little value to the hardware and software they sold. Value Added Resellers (VARs) emerged who often had a vertical focus. With Managed Service Providers (MSP) services are even more at the fore. That trend is continuing. “No longer dominated by resellers of products, much of today’s channel is shifting to a services focus and specializing across vertical industries and/or solutions niches. In the year ahead, more channel firms will be developing their own intellectual property too, whether that is a piece of custom code or a business process they replicate across customers,” CompTIA said.

The cloud is also creating seismic shifts in the channel. “The SaaS ecosystem alone is reinventing what it means to be “in the channel,” with a new take on vendor relationships, selling strategies and compensation demands. And consider Amazon’s recent decision to enter the managed services market serving enterprise AWS customers,” the report found. “From a competitive standpoint, this move could be the catalyst that prompts today’s MSPs to retool their businesses beyond the basics to more advanced services offerings.”

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