Vendor focus

Outlook 2012, Application explosion

John Coulston, Channel Programmes and Operations Director, Dell

IT environments in the Middle East are becoming increasingly complicated and the number of applications to manage is exploding. Virtualisation, mobility, Cloud computing, data storage requirements, digital home, personalisation, ubiquitous data access and ever-present security concerns are fundamentally changing the way people use technology and fundamentally changing what customers want from their technology providers. For channel partners, profitability lies in specialisation and having both the right specialists and the right vendor certifications to meet your customers’ needs.

Cloud is the trend to have the most impact on channel partners in the years to come. Businesses in the Middle East are increasingly seeking providers, which can help them navigate to the Cloud, while also addressing uncertainties such as security and agility. Channel partners and vendors should make investments in this space to help customers embrace the technology and for evolving from on premise to Cloud enabled. Corporate data migration may not be overwhelming during 2012, but this will be an important time for businesses to prepare for the benefits of Cloud computing.

It is estimated that data in the digital universe will double every 18 months. Approximately 95% of that data is unstructured, as it is difficult to control and manage coming from several locations, in many different formats, sometimes incompatible amongst themselves. Even more, 90% of the data is never used after it is created, causing organisations to pay for storage they never actually use. Virtualisation offers organisational control for least cost and has emerged as a credible alternative to traditional computing.

With consumerisation of IT and evolving workforce, the need to access data anytime and anywhere will continue to increase. Security and control systems become important in the mobile universe and channel partners that can help customers ensure corporate data is not compromised can claim the hyped status of trusted advisor.

Green IT is a topic that customers and partners will wrestle with in 2012. Channel partners will be looking at ways they can help their customers in the Middle East get on the path of green IT and enhanced data centre efficiency. As an example, partners could evaluate customer’s energy use by conducting an energy audit. Intelligent data management is another relevant topic in the world of storage and is increasingly appearing on the channel radar. In 2012, the channel will be able to make margins through solutions. Partners need to select right vendors, not necessarily supporting those they have been historically tied down to.

IT environments in the Middle East are becoming increasingly complicated and the number of applications to manage is exploding.

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