Three partner strategies for success in a challenging economy

This year, 2008, started with the suspicion of an economic downturn. If Canada is able to escape what looks increasingly like a global recession, IT channel partners will still face challenges in providing valuable solutions to enterprise customers.

To help combat this situation, Info-Tech Research Group identified three areas focusing on efficiency savings in the enterprise:

*Service Oriented Architecture (SOA);
*Power-optimized hardware.

Consider these three areas for your customers to help address their bottom line concerns.

Service Oriented Architecture will help lower costs and speed business-critical application enhancement. Enhancing applications is critical to improving the effectiveness and the smooth running of IT infrastructure. One of the main challenges facing an IT department is to ensure that it is not a cost-centre. Securing business leader support is an important step in financing IT expenditures. On the back end, this can be a challenging step. By proving how SaaS or SOA will ensure the smooth running of IT, solution providers can help improve the operations of enterprise customers.

Virtualization will help reduce the number of servers, costs and energy consumption in data centres. These costs can be immediately outlined by using concrete figures and facts. Studies are available that detail similar organizations’ savings, and the benefits realized. Enterprises can be sceptical of generic “studies”, so ensure that the studies relate directly to their situation. Desktop virtualization is increasingly becoming more popular, as is server virtualization. Consider both when speaking to clients.

Power-optimized hardware is a key consideration when redeveloping data centres, as is taking advantage of rebates and incentives from utility companies for immediate savings. As enterprises incur costs from the hardware acquisition, purchasing the most appropriate hardware is a key consideration. And as awareness of operating costs continues to rise, especially as the “green” movement continues to garner attention, optimizing hardware will become more of an issue for enterprise IT departments.

Optimizing current and future IT infrastructures will be an important concern in 2008, regardless of the economic state of Canada. As the IT industry matures, issues such as cost reduction and improving manageability are the next stage. Solution providers must look for ways to address these key concerns of enterprise customers. SOA, Virtualization, and power-optimized hardware are areas to address client concerns.

Michelle Warren is a senior analyst with the London, Omt.-based Info-Tech Research Group.

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