The year 2020 was all about Covid-19 pandemic that has changed life for millions of people and instilled in many the feelings of hopelessness and fear. Large enterprises, small businesses and startups, all affected on a scale never before seen.
The year 2021 is standing next to our door, a door with a lot of opportunities and a new hope for everyone. Businesses are gradually coming back on track by adopting new trends and technologies.
However, new technologies are creating different business opportunities for channel partners and SIs as well in the coming year.
Here’s we have India’s Distributor honchos’ comments on the Hardware and Software products/ solutions for Partners to look at as an opportunity in 2021.
Harish Laddha, Executive Director, Sales, Ingram Micro
In 2021 demand for both hardware and software solutions will inevitably be influenced by our current circumstances. While organizations initially viewed remote work as a short-term solution to the curb the spread of the pandemic, it is clear that remote learning and hybrid work models are here to stay. As a result, we will continue to see demand growing for computing endpoints to support work-from-anywhere and remote learning. These could be in terms of laptops, tablets and even accessories like displays, cameras, headsets etc. PCs and gaming laptops are other segments where we are seeing a surge in demand as consumers rely on them for work, education and entertainment.
From an enterprise perspective, CIOs are rethinking policies and looking to secure applications to support work-from-anywhere in the long run which is likely to result in increased demand for security and allied segments including networking, servers and storage. IS teams can no longer rely on just conventional VPN-based strategies to secure networks. Instead, they may need to implement a Zero Trust model to grant network access based on usage and access patterns. And with collaboration becoming mainstream in 2020, we expect to see a continued uptick in the usage of business collaboration and video conferencing solutions.
Another segment that is expected to see significant growth in 2020 is the Internet of Things (IoT). A joint report by Deloitte and Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) reveals that Indian manufacturers, pharma companies, retailers and supply chain providers have made significant investments in IoT to achieve operational efficiencies, reduce cost, improve security and monitor machinery for predictive maintenance and asset utilization in 2020. Next year, we will see IoT become more mainstream in a number of segments like manufacturing, logistics and transportation, on the back of its adoption in Covid-19 vaccine supply chain. Organizations will also move from experimental and proof-of-concept IoT investments to viable business implementations in the areas of workplace safety, smart spaces, video surveillance and more. Segments like physical surveillance and DC (barcode scanners/handhelds) could also see a strong revival as companies look to make enhancements such as automation of warehouses and supply chains.
Venkataraman D, Executive Director, Crayon Software Experts
Businesses in 2021 will be more open and aggressive in their digital transformation journey, due to the new normal of “everything remote.” Hence, we are looking at solutions for our partners that can help companies scale up their cloud infrastructure while reducing operational costs.
Partners across specialization and verticals therefore should get aligned to this new direction and recalibrate their products and services portfolios.
To help our partners succeed in this direction, Crayon has introduced various software and services offerings like “Cloud easy” and “Cloud By Design” which will help customers to move from on-premise to Cloud. Partners can also avail our expertise in Software and Cloud Analytics and Agreement Optimization.
Crayon also provide solutions to right-size the customer’s Office 365 environment. We provide Crayon Empower-iQ as a subscription service, which helps organizations to upskill their employees to achieve greater productivity.’’
Gurpreet Singh, Managing Director, Arrow PC Network
2020 has been a year which can be called the year bringing the most dynamic changes in the world irrespective of the sector. For businesses, this has been a time to rethink and re-strategize their approach towards not just business continuity but also effective business plans. Naturally, the changes that have occurred in 2020 have a direct impact in imbibing the products and solutions in 2021 from a business perspective. Security, both edge and core will be of importance. All the core security technologies will become embedded to boost adoption and edge security will emerge as frontline technology by becoming a household name, with remote working continuing. Everything as a Service (XaaS) is the pit-stop for companies which have to become digital completely. IoT and AI will help in building services on cloud or strengthen existing services to become a digital-native. HCI and converged infrastructure have already gained momentum helping organizations to move away from legacy infrastructure, the trend will continue even in 2021.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been gaining popularity in the past few years, but with the onset of epidemic AI automation got an opportunity to branch out. As businesses maintain hybrid remote-working models and anticipate other potential disruptions in 2021 and beyond, the role of automation and AI use cases in the workplace will grow. Firms can save costs each year and improve staff satisfaction by automating their finance and administration processes. Equipment leasing may be a new term to some, but during the pandemic, this term caught the attention of many. While many organizations could not afford to bring in their own equipment due to delivery disruption or lack of funds, leasing of equipment for their specific needs became the silver lining and has since then gained popularity. Apart from these, robotics, storage and backup are also the right options for investment and business opportunities that can aid businesses in 2021 preparing them to face any unanticipated challenge.
Prashanth GJ, CEO, TechnoBind
2021 will be an interesting year. It will be the first year post the pandemic disruption which we all have seen. The virus didn’t just have an impact on the community in terms of health and the lockdowns, it also has had a significant impact in terms of the way businesses are looking at things – be it their internal way of working or the way they are seeing the business climate around them. Some things will never get back to the way it was in Pre-COVID times – for instance, the way enterprises look at the workplace !! In this context in 2021, we will see a big push for technologies which help this new normal.
Collaboration tools for instance will be at the forefront of IT investments for many customers. And collaboration will not be just about meeting solutions or remote access, it will be a gamut of technologies ranging from access devices to remote connectivity to security solutions for remote and distributed working environment. So products which will see action can be access devices – tablets and laptops, secured remote access, management of data on distributed endpoint devices, collaboration tools like meeting solutions, etc. Of course, action will still continue in the areas of cloud adoption which means products which help customers migrate to the cloud, manage their data on the cloud and secure their data on the cloud. IoT and AI will be yet another area which will see continued investment as before and will only accelerate in the coming 2021.
Venkatesh R, Co-Founder and Head-Enterprise Channel Management, iValue InfoSolutions
2021 will mark the start of a decade that will require CISOs to both respond to digital acceleration and proactively manage uncertainty. The critical role IT plays in supporting business functions means IT adoption needs to be carefully matched against strategic objectives. In the post-pandemic world technology and functioning of businesses have been rapidly evolving to accommodate the drastic changes of 2020. For any organization 2021 will be the learning, unlearning and relearning phase. Organizations and its employees need to accommodate these changes as businesses are now in the ‘survival of the fittest’ mode.
Software products and solutions like Vulnerability Assessment to identify, quantify and prioritize system vulnerabilities; Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) to help proactively identify, mitigate and remediate security threats, Privileged Identity Management (PIM) and Privileged Access Management (PAM) to control access, increase security and reduce mistakes, Network Traffic Analysis (NAT) to detect and respond to security threats, SD-WAN, SOAR solution to collect data about security threats, and respond to low-level security events without human assistance and securing applications from inside with file-less/ memoryless/non-signature based threat protection will help businesses in being prepared for any surprises like that faced in 2020. The devil lies in the details because what businesses also need to realise is that any changes they implement must also be supported by the right hardware products, not just to support software changes but also to improve the quality of functioning indirectly helping businesses in the BCP.
Hardware products like WAF, Deception Technology which prevents threat actors from doing any significant damage, Integrated DDI and DNS security, and Multi-Factor Authentication will drive businesses to achieve robustness, scalability, flexibility and avoid unnecessary expenditure for maintenance. It’s clear that 2021 holds much promise but will also present some significant challenges for organisations. Understanding what is important for a successful business operation will be critical for on-going expansion and success.”