IP Expo Research Reveals Channel Opportunities In Growing Markets

Channel News

Research conducted for the IP Expo shows that opportunities exist, but may be hard to find

IP Expo kicks off today at the Excel exhibition centre in London, accompanied by the usual flurry of research results concerning the IT sector.

For its first appearance away from the usual venue at Earls Court, IP Expo has been set up beside the Data Centre Expo and Cyber Security Expo to offer a broader base for attendees. The opening keynote will be given by World Wide Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee (pictured) who will be looking at what businesses will look like in 15 years time.

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Redshift Research conducted a survey of 300 UK IT directors and managers, asking them about how they use data, then challenges and what they saw as an effective data strategy to reveal where the main business opportunities lie.

Sir Tim Berners-LeeThe good news for the channel is that 81 percent of the respondents said they preferred dealing with just one or two suppliers, the bad news is that 86 percent of these corporate users said they don’t want to change their current relationship with key vendors.

However, the findings of the research heavily indicate that IT professionals are struggling to get the most out of their IT infrastructure due to ineffective purchasing behaviour. Almost three quarters of them admitted to searching for requirements and then choosing the cheapest option and 65 percent said they relied heavily on Internet searches to provide them with information and to seek out suppliers.

Although 71 percent of the respondents said their organisation had a dedicated chief data officer, almost a quarter (23%) stated they had no data strategy in place. Over half of them said they believed better use could be made of the data within their organisation to improve business operations. In fact, 38 percent argued that it would generate more revenue for their business.

The Internet of Things (IoT ) did not play well with the respondents and only 19 percent of them claimed to be using data that was available. 41 percent said they were still at the planning stage and 25 percent acknowledged the worthiness of the IoT but said they would do nothing to exploit it at the moment. It appears that 16 percent of IT managers still don’t know what the Internet of Things is all about.

From the research, it appears that IT professionals feel held back by inadequate technology infrastructures and a lack of IT skills when they tried to drive innovation and agile operations into their departments. Despite this, companies are still moving towards desktop virtualisation (VDI) and the adoption of cloud.

More than a quarter of the sample (27%) said they have already implemented local virtual desktops and 18 percent have delivered desktop-as-a-service (DaaS). However, only 21 percent is considering VDI or DaaS in the near future.

Mike Davies, CEO of Centrality, said, “Providing a unified desktop across multiple devices and multiple ways of working practices can be quite a challenge for organisations leading to a fragmented user experience across the different delivery mechanisms. There can be a third way however, by delivering ‘Servers as a Service’ an organisation can deploy unified servers across the cloud, virtualised environments and physical devices”.

Four out of ten interviewees said that they are adopting software-defined networking (SDN) in their data centres, while 16 percent of them have installed on-premises SDN. Despite this, there still appears to be a lack of understanding of what SDN actually means for a business with the third of the respondents apparently just watching developments or with no plans for adopting the new technology. One in eight of them had no idea what SDN was all about.

Rami Houbby, UK managing director of Nconnect, commented, “I believe this is an area that is misunderstood by many, because it is not clear what it really means from a business adoption perspective. In order for organisations to progress with SDN, I believe there is an important step to be made in making it clearer what this means in terms of business benefits and available solutions. Once this has been conquered, then we might find that more organisations start to take it up.”

Just under half of the respondents said they agreed with Gartner’s prediction that most businesses will soon be using hybrid cloud services, but many of them (52%) said they disagreed. This shows the challenge facing the channel and it comes to moving their customers onto public/private cloud infrastructures.

Deborah Robertson, marketing director for 8×8 Solutions UK, said, “Companies that don’t consider moving all or part of their infrastructure to the cloud risk carrying the burden of outmoded on-premises systems that thwart productivity and drain profits.  Particularly when it comes to communications and collaboration. A good cloud solution will offer a flexible, scalable infrastructure, combined with ease of use and management simplicity.  Look for those with rigorous security, compliance and reliability.”

Author: Eric Doyle
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