Nuvias Group has announced findings from its partner research, revealing 2021’s biggest challenges and opportunities in the Channel. The majority of channel partner respondents expect significant growth in 2021, cybersecurity to be key to channel growth, and healthcare to be the biggest vertical opportunity.
The channel has proven robust during the pandemic, confirmed by 69 per cent of partners viewing COVID-19 delays as one of the least important challenges they face. In fact, the channel has a positive outlook for the year ahead as 63 per cent of respondents expect business growth of more than 5 per cent in 2021. Even more noteworthy is that 43 per cent expect more than 10 per cent growth.
Despite this confident outlook, partners recognise some significant challenges that require support from their distributors if this ambitious growth is to be realised.
Just over half of respondents (55%) ranked expanding their customer base as their biggest challenge. Competitive bidding was rated as the second biggest challenge (18%), an essential building block for growing your clientele.
Cybersecurity is considered by far the best driver of growth, with 82 per cent of respondents agreeing that this technology segment offers the biggest opportunity in the channel. The size of the opportunity is partly the result of the mass shift to remote working during the pandemic, requiring businesses to secure a much wider, extended network under rising activity from cybercriminals. Cloud security plays an important role in light of the accelerated move to the Cloud, as a result of remote working practices. 74 per cent of partner respondents rated Cloud security as a high growth prospect.
When it comes to vertical market opportunities, the healthcare sector is identified by over half of the respondents (63%), as a key growth opportunity. The pandemic accelerated digitisation across many verticals and healthcare organisations are under pressure to digitalise their processes. Partners can offer the support needed and support this transition.
After healthcare, finance (36%) and public sector (33%) are identified as the second and third most significant vertical opportunities for growth. Manufacturing closely followed at 31 per cent.
Identifying the right customers within vertical sectors such as health and manufacturing was ranked as a key priority (67%), followed by accessing specialist knowledge (55%) and finding a solution tailored to the sector (42%).
The research further found that distributors need to help partners navigate customer expansion and act on the vertical opportunity. Respondents indicated the most valued services from their distributor to be quick & accurate quotes (80%) and tech assistance (35%), both vital elements in growing one’s customer base.
Gordon Lyon, Customer Director, UK&I at the Nuvias Group said, “We share our partners’ positive outlook for 2021; our industry has shown resiliency in 2020 – with adversity comes opportunity. It is rewarding to see the enthusiasm for the cybersecurity sector, as we have made significant investments in both personnel and value-added services in this area in 2020 and will continue to do so in 2021. We mirror the feedback of our customers in relation to Cloud security, which we also see as a key focus area for 2021.
“In line with partners’ need to grow their customer base, we have invested in dynamic business intelligence and reseller acceleration platforms, to help our partners drive more opportunity. Our priority remains to keep collaboration tight with partners as our collective intelligence will help us deliver to fast-changing customer needs.”