Embracing an optimistic global IT channel through collaboration

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Shaun Lynn – Agilitas CEO

Globalisation is something that IT channel businesses are increasingly embracing in order to remain relevant to their end customers. Powered by the developments and advancements in technology and the internationally focused, outcome-led market we serve, collaboration has never been more critical in order to succeed globally.

As a result of this, IT resellers and MSP companies are now able to explore new markets by entering into partnerships with channel services businesses delivering best-of-breed global solutions. Recent channel research has shown that the global IT channel is expected to expand in the next two years, which demonstrates a clear view of industry collaboration across global partners and customers.

Through collaborating with others operating in the channel, companies are able to execute a structured and cost-effective globalisation strategy. For most companies, having a presence in other regions can minimise the potential financial risks of having a purely UK-focused business, which will bring great opportunities ahead of the UK’s official EU exit.

Why are Channel Companies Collaborating Overseas

With the looming Brexit deadline slowly creeping up on us, channel companies should take this opportunity to embrace the optimism in the global IT channel through collaborating with those who operate beyond the European Union. However, some may find it hard to consider how, why and when they should undertake this significant transformational shift.

Industry research has shown that the majority of UK-based IT channel companies already operate in other markets, outside of the UK, mostly through collaborations with existing channel partners, or having a fixed presence in a specific region. We have found through our research that eight in ten organisations have an existing presence in Africa, Middle East and Europe. This shows the increasingly growing appetite of the channel wanting to move into new markets.

UK channel businesses should also reflect on the increasing strength of the European IT channel and should be looking to expand further into other European regions if they want to capitalise on the growing global market. As channel businesses begin to collaborate with those operating in local regions, they can ensure that they have the specific infrastructure in place to deliver a consistently high level of service regardless of the geographic location.

Opportunities Created from Collaborating Outside the UK

The factors to consider with regard to international expansion depend on the size of the company, its financial position, and the current stages it is at collaborating with partners and their associated networks. For most, operating outside of the UK is quite an easy step to take. Smaller firms will often work with existing partners to establish an overseas presence, whereas the larger companies have greater flexibility to offer a complete services package to their end user customers.

Development of technologies, such as IoT and Blockchain, prove a strong catalyst for businesses to continue and plan their growth strategies. It is key that existing technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality have the power to drive the channel industry to look forward into the future. If businesses take these technologies on board, they are open to more possibilities of becoming relevant in new markets and exploring multiple business avenues.

The Future For Businesses That Collaborate

Over the past few years, the UK channel has seen a great number of new cloud-native and born-in-the-cloud organisations entering the market. As a result of this, some of these young companies have decided to hold back on growth plans and are still working to establish their business in the UK before expanding into international markets.

There are a number of channel companies that think the IT channel will shrink within the next 24 months – an inflexible perspective, given that the majority show increased optimism and pace of development to globalisation. This could be because they are considering other factors within the industry, such as financial and political issues, which can have a balancing effect on expectations for growth.

It is clear that through channel companies collaborating, the global IT channel can remain buoyant, due to the current financial and political instability they are facing today – with Brexit being a key player. However, businesses must ensure that they continue to collaborate to innovate, in order to maintain appealing relevant services portfolios. Optimism to embrace a growing global market has never been higher and as a result, this is the time to take advantage by collaborating with global partners who are making the complex the norm in order to achieve unprecedented growth for your business.

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