Until recently, 80 per cent of UK IT government spend was controlled by an elite band of just six services giants. This year that cosy status quo was, if not smashed, then gently prodded.
In June, Cabinet Office bigwig Francis Maude declared "the landscape for government contracts has change irrevocably", as he turned the screw on 22 key suppliers who between them held government contracts worth £15bn.
And in February, the government reached out to SMB suppliers by launching G-Cloud. But with just 99 deals having been inked through the cloud services procurement programme to date, it's fair to say that sceptical SMB suppliers won't be breaking out the champers just yet.
Try as you might, you couldn't escape the touchy-feely devices this year. The top vendors have seemingly finally cottoned on to the fact the average computer handler needs only enough computing power to handle emails, shoe shopping and the occasional funny pet video.
And we love them for it, with global tablet sales soaring way past the 100 million mark in 2012, and predicted to stretch towards 200 million in 2013. Meanwhile, the BYOD trend could provide headaches for enterprise CIOs and revenue streams for resellers.
The iPad is, of course, still the standard bearer, but all the major vendors have enjoyed varying degrees of success in the market, and a slew of low-cost models - led by the Amazon Kindle Fire - will shake up the market further next year.
After burning bright in the noughties, planking, nu-metal, hipster jeans and Gareth Gates are all now but distant memories. And to that list we can soon add the pan-European VAD.
Yes, 2012 will go down as the year Europe's last remaining pair of large independent distributors finally sold up after realising that it is, increasingly, a global man's game. Magirus was the first to succumb in July, agreeing a deal with global giant Avnet after concluding it was in danger of being the "last European distributor running against the trend" of consolidation. Two months later, Europe's largest privately held IT group, SCH, also fled the VAD game, flogging its SDG arm to US-based rival Tech Data.
We only hope the two brands resurface as sponsors of The Darkness' 2013 reunion tour.
The duopoly that has defined the client computing market for nearly three decades found its dominance coming under increasing pressure this year.
The traditional PC market - particularly in the UK - has taken a pounding in 2012, while sales of Android and iOS-based tablet devices continue to skyrocket. Recent data from Canalys found that Intel devices accounted for an all-time low 70 per cent of the global client compute market in Q2. (Which, admittedly, still seems like quite a lot to us.)
With ludicrously priced Apple devices continuing to enjoy astronomical sales and baffling levels of devotion, the Wintel pair will be hoping Windows 8 and the Surface can help them take the fight to their fruity rival next year.
It's not been that bad a year for the world's largest IT firm. It just had a ropey beginning, a dodgy middle and a calamitous end.
The vendor entered the year on a quest to re-establish trust and stability following the will-they-won't-they PSG saga. In the summer HP revealed it would be axing 29,000 jobs in a cost-cutting drive, and in its third fiscal quarter the firm swallowed an $8bn goodwill writedown related to its underperforming services business.
It outdid itself in the following quarter, booking a charge of $8.8bn related to its controversial Autonomy acquisition, and it ends 2012 embroiled in an unseemly slanging match over allegations of accounting impropriety at the software vendor.
If you were generous, you'd say that it can presumably only get better next year. We hope.
PC and support resellers
The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) market represents a £2bn opportunity for the UK channel over the next five years, according to analyst TechMarketView.
But wait! The craze that took the IT market by storm in 2012 will spawn winners and losers. The number of BYOD users is set to rocket from 5.2m to 9.5m between 2011 and 2016, giving lucrative opportunities for VARs in security and MDM software and integration services. But suppliers of traditional hardware and support will be frozen out as employees source the devices they use for work themselves. Swings and roundabouts, really.
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