But outsourcing and cloud won’t sell itself – a clear, end-to-end service is the key
IT buyers are looking for stability and ways to prepare for the next five years in their business cycle, according to analyst firm Ovum.
In a new report, the firm suggests 2013 will see a push to fill out portfolios, especially across some of the newer technology arenas such as mobility, analytics, social and cloud.
Jens Butler, principal analyst, IT Services at Ovum says, “The fact that we live in very uncertain times makes investment decision-making even more difficult. With continuing instability across the global markets and even in locations with historically robust growth such as China and India, the outlook for IT services in 2013 is unpredictable.
“Enterprises will be looking for greater reliability in their IT usage and, as a consequence, seeking stability, capability and accessibility among their external service providers.”
In line with recent trends, Ovum’s Bundling Index points to an increasing desire for longer term commitments and extended-scope outsourcing engagements. For 2013, Butler advises enterprises to ensure that bundled services do not become yet another “black box” style engagement, and recommends they invest in governance experience and solid vendor management models.
For the channel, Butler recommends vendors broaden their existing portfolios to prepare for the potential upswing in late 2013. Outsourcing and reliance on cloud-based services is an area where many vendors are also pointing to growth.
“I believe we are now firmly at the stage where the technology itself is mature and generally accepted as safe – the problem is it will not ‘sell itself’, comments Tony Smith, sales director, indirect channel for Siemens Enterprise Communications.
According to Smith, the cloud is in many ways the biggest challenge and opportunity for the channel’s sales teams. “The company that can deliver a clear and understandable solution will reap the benefits in 2013…this will likely mean a greater degree of sales personalisation than ever before. The channel will have to move to become experts that can guide the customer to the correct cloud solution, as well as clearly detail the commercial advantages which ultimately secure a sale.”
Paul Bryce, business development director at Node4 also believes that 2013 will see more cloud adoption. “For many businesses, the cost of investing in new technology is an issue and cloud overcomes this by allowing people to go from a capex to an opex model whereby they pay a monthly recurring fee rather than having to buy and invest in hardware.
According to Bryce, whereas 2012 was a year of ‘evaluation’, 2013 will see people start to look at what the applications are that can utilise cloud environments and how to use wrap-around management. “So rather than focusing on the infrastructure such as the computing and the storage element, people will focus on the applications they can run and how they can manage them from an end-to-end perspective.”