Many VARs expect growth through 2009, despite the state of the economy.
Security is still top of the agenda, and rightly so. Our own research shows it is one area of IT that companies are not going to cut back.
There is also scope for growth.
We believe that two-thirds of businesses do not manage their security effectively. Roughly the same amount believe inadequate Internet security threatens their businesses in 2009.
One of the side effects of a recession is growth in flexible or remote workers, because companies see this as a way to cut costs. Companies managing these workers need effective security.
Home-based or remote workers have fuzzy boundaries between their work and home lives in IT terms. Bandwidth management, security policy application and threat protection are crucial when operating outside the safety of the corporate network.
Employers have both a duty of care and a need to protect the network.
Having said that, companies are spending more cautiously than in the past few years, and want better value for money.
Gone are the days of investment in technology for technology’s sake. Talk of return on investment, value and integration are more important.
Resellers must consider what systems can be combined to create greater value than the sum of their parts.
Data storage and virtualisation solutions are cited as having strong potential.
Especially if they are software offerings that offer analytics to help companies comply with legislation, for example.
Security is also expected to perform well – but we predict those solutions that take a unified approach to threat management by combining technologies will do better than stand-alone systems.
There’s been a lot of talk about innovation. Does a recession reduce innovation because of a lack of investment? Or does innovation increase when a business hits hard times (necessity being the mother of invention).
I think we will come to think of innovation as meaning not ‘look what this new technology can do’, but ‘look how I can get this existing technology to help my business perform better’.
We are unlikely to see huge developments in brand new technologies in 2009 as the investment simply is not there.
However, we will see an altered way of thinking towards increasing investment in systems and solutions to make what businesses have got now work better.
And, of course, security has a huge part to play in making that happen.
James Mackie is sales and channel manager for Network Box
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