Access to IT Talent Defines Channel Prospects for 2015

By Michael Vizard  |  Print this article Print
IT skills and channel growth

NEWS ANALYSIS: The primary goal for solution providers should be to build their skill sets to position themselves to take advantage of opportunities ahead.

Just as demand for mobile, cloud and analytic expertise may be heading for the proverbial pinnacle in 2015, emerging technologies such as software-defined networking (SDN), containers, and the Internet of things (IoT) are already starting to make their presence felt.

For example, a recent survey of 570 partners conducted by Brocade found that 80 percent said that they and their customers are already deploying, or will be evaluating, SDN and network-functions virtualization (NFV) software within the next 12 months.

Also gathering momentum are container technologies that are widely viewed as an alternative to virtual machines. Most are still confined to application development projects, but it's only a matter of time before containers make their way into production environments in very large numbers.

"Containers are red hot going into 2015," said Andi Mann, vice president of business unit strategy for CA Technologies. "But they're not ready just yet for enterprise prime time."

Finally, IoT is expected to drive demand for all kinds of new IT services. IoT will clearly still be a nascent market in 2015. But anything that is expected to drive anywhere from $10 trillion to $15 trillion in economic value in the years ahead is clearly going to be on the radar for most organizations in 2015.

The primary goal for solution providers should be to maneuver themselves into position to take advantage of these opportunities in 2015 and beyond.

Judith Hurwitz, principal analyst for Hurwitz & Associates, makes the case that some form of hybrid cloud computing will, to one degree or another, fuel demand for all the other services.

"IT organizations are now looking to the cloud to deliver differentiated private services," said Hurwitz. "That creates a whole range of data integration and security issues."

As such, having an understanding of all the nuances associated with hybrid cloud computing could put solution providers in a better position to take advantage of other opportunities down the road.

Whatever 2015 brings, the ability find the talent to address those opportunities is clearly going to affect the size of the market opportunity for any solution provider. Addressing that issue will mean making major investments in both training and recruitment of IT talent in 2015. After all, the spring from which all good things flow across the channel almost always begins at the IT expertise source.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.