New Year’s Predictions from the VAR500… lacking imagination?

Yesterday I received a message and a link from #SiobhanWalsh, #Axispoint’s Marketing and PR Manager saying that #DanDiSano, our Group President and CEO had been invited by #CRN Magazine to “to give a few predictions for our industry in 2011.” Of course, I read the full article. There were comments from 10 CEO’s including #BobCagnazzi CEO of #BlueWater Communications, #JereBrown CEO for #DimensionData Americas, #LisaDreher VP Business Development at #Logicalis and #MinCho CEO of #NovaDatacom. I was struck by the similarity across all 10 CEO’s predictions for 2011. In summary, the predictions are:

  • Companies are sitting on cash reserves and are going to start investing in technology to drive growth (let’s all hope this prediction comes true!)
  • Hot areas are:
    • Enterprise 2.0
    • Mobility and Social Networking
    • Collaboration with Cisco’s UCS platform becoming mainstream
    • Virtualisation and green computing
    • Business Video
    • Cloud (especially for SMB sector)
  • The market will see more consolidation as M&A activity increases in the IT sector

The predictions all seemed a bit too familiar so I went back to the same article (Predictions For 2010 From The VAR 500) a year ago. Many of the same faces made their predictions for 2010. #BobCagnazzi of #BlueWater Communications while cognizant of the impact of the downturn was banking on Virtualisation and Cloud Computing being hot areas for 2010. #JereBrown of #DimensionData was “excited by the opportunities ahead” and “seeing increased demand for strategic sourcing, collaboration tools, video and virtualization technologies”.

The similarities between 2010 and 2011 predictions are remarkable. Has the market really stayed that still? Could it be that these eminent Chief Execs are really saying that 2010 was such a slow year that their previous predictions are still playing out? Or is it that everyone is so bruised by 2010 that they are holding their imagination in check?

I am looking for thought leadership. I want to find new ways to reach new markets with new and innovative solutions to real problems so that my customers know that they receive tangible value; an RoI on their investment. The “Outside-In Approach” described by #HarvardBusinessSchool’s #RanjayGulati in his book Reorganize for Resilience: Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business may just provide that alternative approach. According to Gulati, an outside-in approach aims to creatively deliver something of value to customers. This changes the focus of a company from selling products and services to delivering true business value.

My goal is to bring value to my customers in ways that benefit them. I firmly believe that in doing so #Axispoint becomes more resilient to market variations which results in increased value for our shareholders. This approach is reflected in the many #BPM, #Salesforce and #Collaboration implementations we have delivered over the past few years.

Only time will tell if the #CRN Predictions come true or, indeed, if putting customers at the centre of your business gives the resilience we all need so much in these difficult times.

About Peter Borner

Peter is an entrepreneur and successful business leader. Currently leading a consultancy firm specialising in technical diligence for M&A and advising global firms on IT consolidation and migration to consumption based costing through the use of Cloud Technologies.

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