Traditional hardware and support suppliers are set to lose out as a bring-your-own-technology (BYOT) boom creates huge disruption in the channel.
That is the view of research house TechMarketView, which forecasts that annual revenue from BYOT-related spend will mushroom from £176m in 2012 to £675m by 2016.
Although that equates to a £2bn opportunity for the channel over five years, BYOT will be a "huge disruptor to supplier partnerships and business models", according to TechMarketView research director Phil Codling.
"BYOT will create compelling opportunities for consulting, integration and software implementation, as companies try to navigate security and management issues, while significant downward pressure will be applied to support and hardware suppliers where personal devices replace centrally owned kit," Codling said.
According to the analyst, the number of UK employees adopting BYOT will rise from five million this year to 9.5 million by 2016. The fastest growth is set to occur among large firms with more than 500 staff, where the number of BYOT users will treble to three million by 2016. The number of BYOT users in mid-sized firms will double to two million over that period.
However, the analyst warned that firms will likely foot the bill for BYOT by pulling investment from other areas of IT.
And BYOT creates opportunities and threats to the channel in equal measure, TechMarketView added.
On the plus side, firms implementing BYOT will turn to trusted suppliers for guidance on security and management issues, at least in the short term. This means resellers must ensure they are part of the client's BYOT journey from the start to avoid losing out.
They will also be able to sell some software off the back of this engagement, including mobile device management and encryption, TechMarketView said.
On the flip side, suppliers of personal hardware and support services should feel threatened by BYOT, particularly from 2014 onwards when they will start to see larger chunks torn from their market.
At some point, these user-owned devices will replace the company-owned one, meaning a lost sale for the supplier. So as firms embrace BYOT, the onus for support will shift towards the employee and away from IT departments and support services suppliers, said Codling.
"Regardless of the potential opportunity on offer for SITS suppliers to provide advice and auditing as businesses transition to BYOT, the threat to desktop and mobile hardware suppliers is undeniable and suppliers need to find new business models and revenue drivers to counter this," he explained.
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