ChannelPro 2018 State of the Channel Survey Shows Shift to Next-Generation Markets Gaining Momentum

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Research suggests IT solution providers are upbeat about current market conditions and are starting to embrace high-growth opportunities like security and the Internet of Things

ChannelPro-SMB, the premier source of IT and business insights for SMB solution providers, has released the results of the 2018 State of the Channel Survey. Though there are few signs of channel pros abandoning traditional revenue sources like hardware, packaged software, and rote IT maintenance entirely, the annual pulse-taking study contains evidence of increasing interest in a variety of rich new markets.

“Evidence from our 2018 State of the Channel Survey suggests that profits are dropping on traditional IT markets like networking, PCs, and servers, which has channel pros exploring high-growth markets like security and the Internet of Things in mounting numbers,” says Rich Freeman, ChannelPro executive editor.

The survey also finds that market conditions remain strong for most respondents, nearly 44 percent of whom pocketed more revenue last year and nearly 40 percent of whom earned more profit.

Expectations for 2018 are even stronger: Nearly 67 percent believe market conditions will be better for the channel in aggregate this year, and over 70 percent predict better conditions for their own company. The percentage of poll respondents predicting much better market conditions for themselves, meanwhile, is up from less than 23 percent in 2017 to a little over 33 percent now, and in excess of 69 percent believe their clients will spend more on IT this year than last. Perhaps not surprisingly given that upbeat outlook, about 48 percent of survey participants expect to add headcount this year.

In addition, many providers of low-margin online services like Office 365 licensing are adding higher-margin cloud offerings in areas like HR, ERP, and CRM, according to the survey. And managed services, though hardly a new market, is generating increased revenue and profits for channel pros too.

“For the past six years ChannelPro has been taking the pulse of the IT channel through our annual survey, providing invaluable information to our audience to help them grow their businesses and prepare for the future,” says Michael Siggins, publisher of ChannelPro and The ChannelPro Network. “We are pleased to present our most recent findings.”

For coverage on State of the Channel Survey, click
http://www.channelpronetwork.com

For a downloadable version of the full report, click http://www.channelpronetwork.com/download/channelpro-2018-state-smb-channel-report

Methodology and Demographics:

The 2018 ChannelPro State of the Channel survey was conducted online from August to October 2017. About 36 percent of the 815 respondents are MSPs, 34 percent are VARs, and 13 percent are custom system builders. Nearly 63 percent hold executive management titles such as CEO, owner, and president. Approximately 35 percent work at companies with one to four employees, while roughly 17 percent, 28 percent, and 20 percent are affiliated with firms that have five to nine, 10 to 49, and 50-plus people on staff, respectively.

About The ChannelPro Network:

The ChannelPro Network provides targeted business and technology information for IT channel partners who serve small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Via its websites, live events and the monthly ChannelPro-SMB magazine, The ChannelPro Network delivers expert opinion, analysis, news, product reviews, and advice vital to a channel partner's business success. Perspectives from partners, vendors, distributors, and analysts are spotlighted daily. No other media company focuses on the small and midsize IT marketplace like The ChannelPro Network. The ChannelPro Network is a brand of EH Media, an integrated media company and the leading provider of independent business and consumer content and information serving millions of professionals and consumers worldwide.

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Michael Siggins