Tech Business Stabilizing, Better Outlook for IT Channel: CompTIA

Close-up Of Businessman Predicting Future With Crystal Ball At Desk

The COVID-19 pandemic created havoc in every sector and the IT channel community is no exception. Since the lockdown the tech channel comprising MSPs, systems integrators (SIs), dealers, resellers, VARs and retailers were facing challenging times with sales and revenues as the overall business scenario was in a dwindling state. A new CompTIA survey, however, shows better times ahead for IT channel as technology companies continue to see customer interest in cybersecurity, cloud computing and managed IT services, among other areas.

The CompTIA survey asked how COVID-19 has impacted their companies and found that as many as 84% of tech firms is receiving new customer inquiries, which is up from 76% in March.

Cybersecurity tops that list, with 42% of tech firms surveyed indicating customers are inquiring about securing their networks. Next, customers are most interested in Cloud computing (42%), managed and outsourced IT services (40%) and consulting on how to go virtual (40%).

CompTIA’s survey also indicated that companies are slowing down their hiring changes after a few months of hiring freezes, layoffs and other reductions.

“Companies also reported taking positive steps in training employees in technical areas such as cybersecurity, networking, programming and tech support, as well as in ‘soft skill’ areas like communications and customer service,” Amy Carrado, senior director for research and market intelligence at CompTIA said in the report.

“Taking advantage of any downtime in business activity to upskill employees is likely to pay off for these firms as customer engagements increase,” she continues.

The survey, conducted earlier this month, found that the majority of tech executives (52%) were feeling optimistic, while 42% are “hanging in there” and 6% reported to be in a difficult situation.

The survey also found that 94% of companies belief their business will change for the long term, with 65% citing more remote work opportunities. Other changes include more social and digital marketing (48%) and reducing business travel (47%).

A recent Techaisle data from COVID-19 impact survey of channel partners (excluding small retailers) shows that the percent of channel partners expecting revenue increases in 2020 may drop by 20%. 

Many are prioritizing virtual meetings, alternating in-office/remote workers, restructuring information protection agreements to allow for remote work, offering more cloud and digital solutions to leverage the situation, the study said.

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