Channel needs to focus on business lines

Creative-colorful-lines-business-template-vector-01As power moves away from the traditional IT department, the channel needs to focus on business lines.

In a report, CompTIA said that not only are lines of business buying technology but ideas about investments are coming from a wider source of participants.

The industry lobby group found that 45 percent said that ideas were coming from outside the IT department and more than half used business unit budget to pay for technology purchases last year.

More than a quarter (27 percent) of final decisions about which projects and investments get sign off are made by somebody other than the IT department.

The power is shifting to those working in finance, marketing, sales and logistics forcing resellers to have multiple contacts at any single customer.

Carolyn April, senior director, industry analysis, CompTIA said that CIOs and information technology (IT) teams remain involved in the process, as their expertise and experience is valued. But business lines are flexing their muscles. It’s another strong signal that technology has shifted from a supporting function for business to a strategic asset.

Lines of business money is going towards cloud based investments that are quick to spin up and can often be paid for in small instalments on a company credit card.

The advice from CompTIA is to recognise the changes and approach the sales pitch from a slightly different direction.

“Partners need to speak the language of business because this new generation of buyers doesn’t want to hear about the technical implications of their purchases. Channel partners need to position themselves as consultants and service providers who can help customers make informed decisions about what they buy,” April said.

“The amount of green-field, untapped space for business is huge. But lines of business have little knowledge or interaction with the channel. It’s incumbent on the channel to get their faces in front of line of business leaders,” she added.