Forget the scandals, the trash-talking, and the rhetoric of this electoral campaign season. The big issue for the coming year is going to be economic uncertainty–and that uncertainty is distinctly non-partisan. Regardless of who wins, 2007 promises to be dicey for small and medium-sized businesses, and for the channel as a result.
It’s not all bad news. Concerns about energy costs and inflation will continue to drive projects that squeeze more efficiency out of customers’ computing investments (like server consolidation and virtualization, business process re-eengineering, etc.). And the available pool of IT talent is again starting to shrink, boding well for an increase in managed services, hosting and support deals. But those same forces are going to affect how quickly service providers, systems integrators and VARs will be able to respond to those increasing demands, and put pressures on how those services are priced.
Over the next few months, we’ll be looking on SearchITChannel.com and the other channel sites at the market and technology forces that will drive channel business in 2007. But as far as the underlying economic conditions go, the only sure thing for 2007 is that nothing is for sure, regardless of who wins how many seats in Congress in November. Now’s the time to take a hard look at what you’re planning for your business, and to make sure you’ve got your financial bases all covered for a bumpy ride.