It is not surprising that organizations are faced with an increasingly complex business environment. More competition, razor thin margins and increased competition yields more challenges to the business than ever before. At the same time the operating business environment has produced IT and security challenges that were often not even on the radar five years ago. Take security, for example. It was not all that long ago that hackers were the “bad outsiders” looking to develop their reputations as professional hackers by hacking into organizations and doing things like changing main web pages. Back then, it was relatively easy to thwart most threats by deploying some perimeter protection (such as firewalls and VPNs) to solve the issue. And life went on.
Today, we have a completely different environment. The “bad people” are not necessarily just outsiders, but in some cases employees. They are not looking to gain a reputation in the hacking community, but are rather doing it for profit. Deployment models and operating environments have also changed. Applications are no longer limited to four wall; instead, they may be found in cloud environments. They must scale everywhere to multiple audiences and must always be available – all while remaining secure.
Technology runs at breakneck speeds with new and innovative solutions coming out and being wholly adopted almost daily. With this increasingly dynamic and complex environment, how can businesses continue to securely stay on top of technology while also operating their business?
The confluence of these trends has laid bare a crucial reality businesses must face: IT has become complicated. Indeed, staying ahead of all the systems, threats and opportunities is a full time job – and it often distracts organizations from their own business. This directly impacts the bottom line and long term viability of the business.
Rather than trying to stay on top of all technology trends, many organizations have called upon the channel to help sort out which technologies will help run the business and how best to keep them secure. Channel organizations have morphed from being viewed as “box pushers” who used to sell firewalls, to “trusted advisors” and key business partners. In addition to the channel partner being up-to-speed on challenges and threats most organizations face, they also are in a unique position to be well-informed about cutting-edge technologies. Channel partners are not only being called upon by businesses in virtually every vertical, but they are being asked to help chart the strategy to ensure technology excellence across the entire organization. Simply put, the channel has a key seat at the table to help ensure systems are always deployed as part of an ecosystem rather than point products deployed in a vacuum.
The shift in the channel responsibility has equally impacted technology vendors. The channel has become an increasingly popular route to market because it takes into account the big picture. It is in a much better position to do so than a technology vendor that is mostly interested in the purchase order for their product.
So how do technology vendors best engage with the channel to ensure their products are regularly included in the portfolios shared with customers and prospects?
Organizations and enterprises the world over are operating in more complex environments than ever before. While this poses certain challenges, it also opens up new opportunities for channel partnerships. Technology vendors and channel partners have an incredible opportunity to work together and simplify IT business operations for the common good of the end-customer while also driving new routes to and opportunities in the market. Leveraging the channel not only simplifies the IT business environment for the end customer, but can also be a lucrative route to market for your killer products.