IT Spending Is Shrinking – The Cloud Is Growing
If you happen to be selling hardware to Amazon or Google, you’re probably in good shape. Especially if you sell storage. Cloud storage requirements are growing. IT spending isn’t.
Steve Norton, contributor for the Wall Street Journal published some figures last week from Gartner and others that should serve as a wake up call to you if you are a technology reseller – especially if you are selling to the small or mid-sized businesses.
Here’s What Gartner Predicts:
“Global IT spending will shrink 1.3% to $3.66 trillion in 2015 amid a strong U.S. dollar, slowing PC sales and a continued switch to software-as-a-service, research firm Gartner Inc.IT -0.72% said in its latest quarterly forecast.” They were calling for 2.4% growth. New predictions are negative. 1.3% might not sound like a big deal, but you can multiply that for small companies looking to cut costs. They’re likely to move to cloud services first. Forrester was calling for 80% of these companies to be in the cloud within 5 years, but the time is shorter now. In other words, expect it to be far less than 5 years.
Also from Gartner: “Microsoft killed the XP licenses, but people are still running XP,” Gartner analyst John Lovelock told CIO Journal. “PCs are plummeting, but there is still a desire to get some of that new functionality.” In other words, people are going to keep their old computers and run their apps from the cloud – Microsoft 365, Google Apps, etc.
Steve Norton’s Comments:
“Gartner noted a substantial reduction in their forecast for office suite spending, reflecting an uptick in adoption of cloud services like Microsoft Corp.’s Office 365”, says Steve Norton.
He also notes that “IT services spending is forecasted to shrink…this year, with the largest drop seen in implementation services.” Expect it to drop more than you think. With Microsoft moving more to the cloud, your support services will be in less demand. Less infrastructure also means less installation. The smaller the business, the less likely it is that they’ll be adding servers or disk.
What About Managed Services?
This is clearly becoming a price war. Managed services is a commodity business right now, and it will get worse. Many of the resellers I am working with tell me their prospects just want to know how much they charge per device. That’s a bad sign! They are also being undercut with low prices from both very large providers and the guy who works out of his garage.
Security is Still In Play
The good news is, there’s still a strong market for technology. Amazon will certainly cash in on cloud services. Apple is killing it with the iPhone. But you can grow too if you’re selling something clients really need. Security demand will continue to grow. The more companies more to mobile devices and cloud apps, the less secure they’ll be. There’s also an opportunity to move upstream with compliance and assessment offerings. Firewall management is not what I’m talking about.
Consider services like hosting policy, ongoing assessments, event correlation services, and monitoring for breaches. The small business can’t afford the technology required to detect a breach, and they most certainly can’t staff a team of responders. Virtual CISO services are another great offering. People need help with their security strategy as they move toward digitization. The CISO function will become more important for smaller companies, yet still unaffordable.
© 2015, David Stelzl
P.S. Find out how to sell into the security market…. (Read More)