The economic devastation continues to create a lot of speculation as to what is going to happen to the IT industry and to the greater sales channel of VARs and other partners. At first, we didn't think we'd be hurt. After all, everybody still needs hardware and software, right? But then the sales numbers started to come in and the picture wasn't so rosy after all.
Al Senia at IT Channel Planet has a very well thought-out point of view on the issue, taking a sort of contrarian stance to the whole issue, and it makes sense. Channel partners will get hurt short-term, but will benefit longer-term.
What happens during a lousy economy? Companies start to lay off people. Then two things happen. The company finds that they still need to get things done, but no longer have the talent on-board to do it. So they outsource, and turn to their VARs and integrators to get more things done that were previously accomplished in-house. The second thing that happens is that more talented individuals find themselves out of a job. And from what I've seen historically, when talented techies and executives lose their jobs, you usually won't see them at the unemployment line the next day. What they do is start their own entrepreneurial ventures. And what do new start-ups need right away to get up and running? Software, hardware and solutions! This creates a second area of emerging opportunity for channel partners during economic hard times.