2017 is just getting into full swing, and businesses are evaluating the investments that they plan to make into their business this year—including new technology choices. According to CompTIA, digital transformation will be front and center for businesses in 2017—especially for small and medium-sized businesses.
The Business Relevance of IT in the SMB Market, which surveyed 600 U.S. SMBs during August 2016, found that cybersecurity, data utilization, and the modernization of legacy infrastructure and applications as key areas for improvement. It found that two-thirds of SMBs indicated technology is a primary factor in pursuing business objectives; 31 percent rate it as the No. 2 factor. This all bodes well for channel partners as they position themselves with services like Star2Star’s unified communications systems to help businesses achieve their goals.
As for the top objectives for improving their bottom line in the coming year, CompTIA found that customer retention tops the list (50 percent), followed by expansion into new markets (48 percent), business process improvement (46 percent), innovation (42 percent), and workforce development (34 percent)—all efforts that must be underpinned by a top-notch communications system. To support these goals, one in three SMBs report spending more than $100,000 annually on technology, and 60 percent of SMBs believe their return on investment in technology has been excellent or good.
CompTIA also has released a preview of its forthcoming IT Industry Outlook for 2017, and some of the trends for channel partners that are expected to emerge in the coming year include:
- More channel firms will be developing their own intellectual property, whether it is a piece of custom code or a business process they replicate across customers.
- The players in the channel will continue to change with digital agencies, marketing firms, accountants, and other non-traditional partners selling or recommending IT solutions.
- New tools driven by the cloud mindset will see initial adoption at the enterprise level before moving into the SMB space. These include hyperconverged infrastructure, blockchain, and artificial intelligence.
- Workplace dynamics will continue to evolve, and workers are expected to push the boundaries of ‘Bring Your Own Collaboration’ in much the same way as they did with BYOD with the availability of an increasing array of new collaboration and communication tools.
2017 is shaping up to be an exciting year for the channel, and Star2Star is here as your trusted technology partner in designing the perfect solution to help clients meet their business goals.
To find out more about how Star2Star can help businesses prepare for growth in 2017: