By Damian Jaume, President, Dynabook
It’s difficult to make predictions about the future. Especially when it’s predicting a future for the channel, which is a completely imperfect exercise due to how rapidly things progress, challenges to innovation, and the unpredictability of consumer trends which resellers constantly have to evolve with. While only a few new technological or business developments disrupted the status quo over the last 12 months, it was this year that certainly accelerated many technology trends already in motion for the channel. However, based on current enterprise and consumer behavior, we can attempt to make some predictions on which technologies will most impact the channel in the next year.
Channel to drive mobile edge computing and smart glasses forward
Our research finds that 63% of organizations plan to deploy smart glasses within the next 24 months. In industries such as maintenance and logistics, this will increasingly become the norm as devices such as assisted reality (AR) smart glasses, will be key to enabling frontline or field workers to work anywhere without having access to a Wi-Fi network. In 2022, we believe businesses will formalize their ideas to implement these technologies.
A trusted advisor for a secure and hybrid work environment
The last year has changed working environments forever, but hybrid working does not come without risks. The current climate has forced businesses to regularly evaluate their security processes to protect both employee and company data. In 2022, we believe one area where this will really gain attention is device security.
As more businesses look to adopt more secure solutions, the channel will support remote workers by becoming their trusted advisor – offering knowledge from their own security skills sets, as well as secure solutions across both hardware and software, including two-factor authentication, Windows 11, Trusted Platform Module and mobile-secure client solutions.
Salespeople will need to evolve to maintain personable relationships
One of the biggest changes in the channel sales journey over the last year has been around maintaining personable interactions with customers in times of remote working. For the channel, selling has traditionally been about building and maintaining relationships, whereby salespeople would take customers through a personal journey, meeting face-to-face to discuss product and service offerings. As more salespeople are working remotely today, there’s been a challenge for customers to meet an entire sales team in an effective, personable, and timeless manner.
Drone delivery services will make the channel more profitable
COVID-19 presented many challenges to global supply chains, and industries such as logistics needed technologies like automation and robotics, to help pick, pack and dispatch ever-increasing amounts of orders. Both of these technologies will continue to play a key role in this space as we go into 2022.
Meanwhile, drone delivery services were ahead of their time five years ago, which is a large part of the reason that Amazon’s Prime Air plans are currently on the rocks. But recent predictions say the tide is about to change: the global warehouse robotics market size is expected to grow from USD 4.7 Billion in 2021 to USD 9.1 Billion by 2026. As drone delivery services start to find their feet, this can open up new revenue opportunities.
The channel will play a key role in offering sustainable packages
E-Waste found that 97% of enterprises around the world had to purchase new laptops to accommodate the shift to remote working during the pandemic. In 2022, we will see businesses planning to make smart and sustainable choices in several ways. One of the ‘easy wins’ will be to start ethically disposing of old devices through initiatives such as reselling and recycling. The provides an opportunity for resellers to develop a whole end-to-end package with sustainable credentials for customers looking to recycle or dispose of old devices ethically, resulting in those customers reducing their carbon footprint and making hybrid working work for everyone.