At this year’s Arrow Technology Summit, over 300 sales, marketing, channel and business executives attended the event with one purpose in mind: to get real-world perspectives and actionable information that will help increase their sales.
The Arrow Technology Summit kicked off with a panel presentation from the Arrow Market Intelligence team. This team takes a research-driven approach to shorten sales cycles; and they strive to understand what the customer wants – both today and tomorrow. Then, they leverage that knowledge to help suppliers and their partners adapt business strategies to drive growth. During this session, MI analysts talked about developments in the areas of security, cloud and IoT, and their impact on partners.
Arrow MI analysts reviewed the three main drivers that are shaping security market trends, including cloud, data privacy and security/identity.
As cloud adoption continues at a rapid clip, the cloud security market has evolved such that the largest cloud solution providers are increasingly offering their own security products. Instead of being squeezed out of this lucrative market, security suppliers should partner early and often with large CSPs, so they aren’t caught on the outside looking in when CSPs make their partnering decisions. Another area of opportunity will be in multi-cloud solutions where large CSPs currently aren’t competing.
Because architectures are decentralizing and moving further away from the data center, data becomes more dispersed, making its security more complex. This is becoming more important as the issue of privacy becomes more paramount, as demonstrated by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. Consequently, security suppliers should expect high demand for maintaining certain standards, data loss prevention, encryption, aiding forensics and investigations, as well as understanding how to locate, extract or scrub data as needed. Partners and suppliers will be well-positioned if they have workflow tools to help manage the whole data management process.
The last driver is identity because our physical and digital selves are merging. This merger is creating many “Why didn’t I think of that?!” moments with how we think of identity. You can expect to see continued adoption of different types of biometrics, such as detection patterns, associated with distress and speech patterns.
Another facet of identity security is blockchain identity. In this market, there already is a race to be part of an ecosystem of identities. This race is on because the companies that control the network or pipeline of identities can act as a backbone for any number of consumer and government services. Outside of blockchain, opportunities will abound in the identity space, especially around continuous authentication and identity management in hybrid environments.
The two most important words in the cloud market today are consolidation and specialization. Hyperscalers, like Google, Amazon and Facebook, are quickly becoming the only game in town in IaaS and PaaS. This means that one of the keys to any cloud strategy is going to be strategic engagement and even partnership with hyperscale providers.
The hyperscale providers are huge and, almost by definition, can’t be experts in everything. In other words, while cloud is transformational in many ways, it also leaves some major market fundamentals untouched. These fundamentals include the need for deep industry knowledge and territorial specialization by partners. Abilities that provide a competitive edge – territory knowledge, customer relationships and the ability to recommend, build and deliver unique solutions – will still be critical in the cloud channel.
You also need to specialize by working around the hyperscale providers’ capability gaps to tailor offerings to the unique requirements of your customers. This is especially true if you work in highly regulated industries, or any vertical with unique needs. Healthcare is one example where your territorial knowledge will allow you to point out the shortcomings in the hyperscale offerings and help address them. The way to stay competitive is to begin thinking of yourself as a consulting partner and trusted advisor in the cloud. You know what your customers need, and you know the challenges they will experience when they move to the cloud.
IoT is poised to be one of the most influential technology forces in the market and is ripe with opportunity. Spending on IoT in the U.S. is growing each year. By 2021, that spending will be approaching $300 billion with an expected growth rate of 13%.
While this growth is promising, markets are still developing, and IoT is still a buzz word for many organizations. There are few standards in the market when it comes to technology, platforms, security or services, and they can leave some risk-averse organizations a bit hesitant. Where will the technology be three years from now – or even next year? Fear of aligning with soon-to-be outdated technology may drive some organizations out of the market, at least in the short term.
Despite all this hesitation, IoT is ready to drive a business transformation that will not come from a singular technology, but a marriage of many, including cloud, cybersecurity and analytics. Communicating this transformation in the form of productivity improvements, reductions in operating expenses, or customer service improvements can be the enough to convert a once hesitant organization.
Buyers and organizations are looking for new and creative solutions to solve real problems. IoT and its integration with cloud, cybersecurity and analytics can be a tool that delivers those solutions. As suppliers, it’s your job to understand the long-term implications of the technology and balance it with the current implementation, so that buyers receive the solutions they need.
The consistent theme throughout the Arrow Technology Summit market intelligence session was the importance of understanding your customers’ business. You need to view your customers’ pain points as a business problem and provide them with solutions that have a demonstrable impact on their issues, like cost savings, security or efficiencies. Keeping this core tenet in mind will be critical to success in the evolving security, cloud and IoT competitive landscape.
You can access video recordings of the general sessions here – listen to panelists address today’s cutting-edge topics.