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Challenges ahead but still much to look forward to in 2021, says Exertis

Exertis is looking forward to a boost in IT spending in 2021 as enterprises re-start IT projects that were abandoned due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jonathan Wagstaff, Business Intelligence Manager, Exertis Group, said: “There’s an expectation that enterprise spending will pick up again in 2021 as postponed projects restart. We also expect the acceleration of digital transformation to continue. Here, the channel has a critical role. The largest organisations will likely be further down the road of cloud migration. However, small and medium-sized businesses are still going to need the channel, particularly in countries where cloud adoption is lagging.”

Wagstaff added that digital transformation and automation both represent huge opportunities in the next 12 months.

Exertis offices

He said: “These will be the key drivers alongside the growth of Edge solutions that will support the expected IoT systems, vehicles and devices dependent upon them. Unlike centralised cloud provision, Edge needs the channel to push out rather than pull back in, so to speak.”

However, Wagstaff warns that there are still threats to consumer and business demand including the macroeconomic shock of CV19 combined with the UK leaving the Customs Union (whether or not there is a Free Trade Agreement in place).

“Even with the good news around vaccines, CV19 disruption will continue into the new year. Gartner has spoken of a CIO reaction around respond, recover, renew. ‘Respond’ was about keeping essential functions operating (e.g. issuing WFH equipment); ‘recover’ is about stabilisation, which is where many businesses are now. What will be interesting is the renewal cycle, during which business models and IT will need to be adjusted to the new reality,” he said.

This includes a consolidation of work from home practices and networking/device/cloud requirements and an examination of digital capabilities following the huge shift online over the last year.

“Clearly the rush to supply devices was going to be a largely 2020 phenomenon, but we still expect the channel to benefit from supporting these societal and business changes long into 2021,” Wagstaff said.

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