Traditional broadline distributors, IT suppliers and procurement departments may be overwhelmed with the shifting landscape and the paradox of choice, but at ASM, we embrace the rapid pace of change and increasing number of options for enterprise technology. Agility is at the heart of our ethos. For many years, some of our best customers have held titles like master inventor, and worked for the world’s leading technology innovators. Our vendor partners have been disrupting the enterprise IT channel for years. Importing enterprise technologies in hardware and software from California to China and Israel to Australasia, is not new to us at ASM. We often supply future tier 1 vendors software, well before most of the channel has heard of it, and were probably the first suppliers of drones and Raspberry Pi’s into the enterprise IT channel.
When ASM started out 25 years ago, the IT channel was built around PC, server, storage, networking, and print. 10 years ago it evolved towards – workplace technologies, datacentre, unified communications, mobile, services, and software. More recently the channel adopted cloud, bring your own device (BYOD), software as a service (SaaS), virtual machines (VM’s), big data analytics, encryption, and opensource. Today we hear of user experience (UX), artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), social, Internet of things (IOT), Application Programming Interfaces (API’s), DevOps, biometrics, subscription services, cognitive computing and robotic process automation (RPA). Over the next year we will be talking about applied AI & machine learning, intelligent apps, intelligent things, virtual and augmented reality, digital twins, blockchain and distributed ledgers, conversational systems, mesh app and service architecture, digital technology platforms, and adaptive security architecture (Gartner). To put it more simply, although no less daunting for the I.T channel, Gartner’s trend predictions this year are built around the 3 key areas of enhancing human endeavours, making assisted economic decisions, and renovating the customer experience.
It is not only the technology and terminology that is changing. IT Channel commentator Jay McBain (Forrester) observes that “The one thing that has stayed relatively constant over these decades is how customers decide and procure technology. Led by CIOs and IT departments, channel partners and vendors have fine-tuned their product and messaging mix to capitalize on this customer buying journey. Over the past couple of years, driven by cloud and the growing acceptance of SaaS business ecosystems, this journey just took a hard right turn. Analysts are now reporting that 72% of technology decisions are influenced and/or made by line of business executives (Gartner). These leaders of departments such as sales, marketing, finance, operations and HR are increasingly taking ownership of their own digital transformations. In fact, it is predicted that this number will rise to 90% by the year 2020”. This is likely to be a game changing shift for ASM’s customers and vendor partners.
ASM’s customers are all prestigious, high value, innovative enterprise technology providers. Whether they are keeping up with or keeping ahead of, or inventing this rapid transformation, we will be supporting and encouraging them all the way.