Old School Solutions Providers Need A Renaissance ... Or Retirement
Sometimes I wonder if I sound like a broken record to readers. “Expand your line card by selling complementary technologies to existing customers. Adopt the as-a-Service model to build a predictable revenue stream and maximize profitability.” When you boil down almost every article in Business Solutions, you should find one or both of those messages.
How you go about doing those things is up to you, but I couldn’t be more sure of the accuracy and importance of our message. If you think your business is so healthy and well-positioned that selling complementary technologies isn’t needed, or that the as-a- Service model just isn’t right for your company, in the long run, you’re going to be wrong. IT convergence is a juggernaut and the momentum is too great to stop. Break-fix revenue will never match the potential of the services model.
I'm not going to waste space here recounting all the different ways IT solutions providers are under attack. Threats are everywhere and no one is immune.
However, opportunities are also everywhere and will be won by the best-positioned solutions providers. What you can and should be doing in 2014 is purposefully and aggressively examining your business and addressing the areas in which you’re weakest. You should be encouraging fresh ideas and concepts in your company from existing personnel or via young new hires. Because technologies are advancing so rapidly, you should take renewed looks at solutions that, in the past, weren’t right for your line card for any number of reasons. It’s time to reinvent what a solutions provider provides and how it operates. If you’re not up to the task for any reason — too tired, too proud, too stubborn, too cocky — you’re doing your company and other IT providers a disservice. Consider your exit strategy.