Content, Channel partners, IT distribution, Content

Technology Distributors: 2018 Looks Promising, GTDC Research Finds

GTDC CEO Tim Curran
GTDC CEO Tim Curran

Technology distributors are poised for substantial growth in 2018, according to one study.

The research, conducted by the Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC), surveyed the council’s vendor partners on their outlook for 2018. According to GTDC, its members drive more than $150 billion in annual product and services business around the world

The report, which was independently produced, interviewed distribution leaders and vendor IT channel executives. It also aggregated survey responses from more than 50 of the world’s leading technology companies. The results of those findings demonstrate confidence in the market, with channel execs showing confidence in their distribution partnerships.

The findings show:

  • More than 70 percent of vendors expect double-digit revenue growth through distribution in 2018.
  • Cloud, security, IoT, and data center focus areas rated at the top for channel progress this year.
  • Indirect business is rapidly accelerating, outpacing direct for the majority of surveyed companies.
  • Vendors said recruiting new types of solution providers is their number one objective with distributors.
  • 64 percent of surveyed vendors cited vertical markets as primary channel business drivers.

No doubt, distributors are evolving to address those opportunities. Established players have spent recent years building cloud services divisions, while upstarts like Pax8 have emerged with pure cloud distribution models for MSPs and VARs. More recently, distributors have been acquiring various IoT assets -- including Arrow's recent buyout of eInfochips.

Distribution and Technology Market Shifts

Comparing these latest results with last year’s iteration of the survey show some notable paradigm shifts. For instance, multi-vendor solutions which solve specific industry challenges are becoming more popular.

Meanwhile, the reliance on cloud technology can’t be overstated, as traditionally separate solutions become more integrated thanks to private and hybrid cloud solutions. But the study also found that with the increasing ubiquity of cloud comes new security needs, even as end-user demand for access to information anywhere at any time continues to push growth in cloud, networking, security, IoT, and more.

Tim Curran, GTDC CEO, calls this “a critical juncture in the industry’s history, considering the pace and breadth of innovation.” The GTDC was formed in 1998. The release of the data comes as the organization launches its new brand identity.

Additional insights from Joe Panettieri.