We live in fast changing times, where new technological inventions and market trends pop out almost instantly. As society adjusts to constant innovations, new needs for various products and services surface. In order to meet those needs, businesses need to provide various product and service offerings. The era of the Internet and IT have opened the doors to businesses to work internationally, creating more competition in the home country. In these constantly changing times, it’s hard to predict what the future will bring, so IT service providers must strive to stay ahead and embrace new technologies and market trends in order to retain their customer base.
Many IT businesses started off as computer retailers, selling laptops, desktops, software upgrades and gadgets by purchasing products at wholesale prices and making a profit by selling them to consumers at a higher price. With these devices being part of our everyday life, which are used in every business nowadays it is an easy entry to starting up a business. Various hardware, software and computer accessories are required by almost any business, as well as individuals for personal use, and as such, there is an extensive market to which these devices can be sold to.
As businesses grow, these retailers then expand from selling devices to also providing IT support to their customer base, implementing a break/fix model. Not long after, these IT support companies want to utilise their expertise and further grow their business by integrating various hardware and software products from multiple vendors and build computing systems. In other words, from initially starting as computer retailers, these businesses become system integrators, while still nurturing hardware selling business.
As previously noted, with constant innovations happening on the marketplace, consumers and businesses are becoming more demanding and require services and products customised to suit their needs. Some of the common trends in the IT industry include the rise in cloud service brokerage, rising demand for Big Data and increase in the global mobile workforce. This creates not only the need for new devices, but also for cloud integration. As such, small and medium size IT providers are moving away from selling hardware and support into providing subscription services model to meet the demands of the market.
Not only do customers require a subscription from an IT provider, but want all the services they need to be provided and bundled by a single vendor, in order to simplify service delivery and reduce costs. IT providers who do not possess the required skills or capabilities to provide a full service face the possibility of being driven out of business. With competition in place, customers will easily be lost as they will switch over to a full service provider.
Maintaining a competitive edge, following the market and technological trends is the key to growing your business or at least keeping your customer base. Constantly investing in your business’s infrastructure and staff is required to provide a full suite of services. And that investment is immense. You need to adapt and constantly reinvent your business, so that you don’t become extinct. You can either choose to develop or to die.♦ End