The majority (58%) of UK channel organisations are optimistic about the future of the IT channel, finds the CompTIA State of the Channel Report 2018. Just 19% are pessimistic about what’s to come.
The IT trade association’s survey of 250 UK companies shows that positivity in the channel is being driven by the opportunities presented by cloud computing (56%) and emerging technologies like AI, VR and blockchain (41%).
At the same time, growing use of technology by all types of customer is expanding the need for IT experts (43%), with 34% identifying growing customer demand for vertical expertise and consultation, especially in professional services, retail and manufacturing.
In response to interest in new technologies and new routes to market, 64% of UK channel organisations are planning to change their mix of offerings next year. Almost half (47%) expect to generate more revenue from net new business.
CompTIA’s report also identifies key challenges, particularly around the skills gap. More than half of IT staff say the availability of IT workers and a lack of training remain an issue. More than one third (37%) are concerned by the paucity of younger employees joining the channel.
The skills shortage appears to be stopping organisations from making the most of opportunities presented by new technologies, with 38% complaining about the difficulty of finding people with the right skills and 60% identifying a need for technical training.
Almost half (47%) cited cost of entry as a barrier to the adoption of AI, VR and blockchain.