Magazine Article | December 14, 2011

Sure Bets For The IT Channel In 2012

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By Mike Monocello, editor in chief, Business Solutions magazine.

This is the time of year when writers and industry insiders like to prognosticate about what’s going to happen in the coming year. Rather than share my list of guesses of what might occur in the coming months, I thought I’d rely on our Web analytics for BSMinfo.com to create a list of safe bets that you can actually act on and use to possibly improve your bottom line in 2012.

Are You Missing Healthcare Opportunities?
Without a doubt, the most read and researched vertical on our site is healthcare. This makes perfect sense when you consider what’s happening in the healthcare space. Federal regulations driving EHR (electronic health record) adoption and “meaningful use” are motivating healthcare providers to adopt technologies that integrate with and extend the use of EHRs. Key technologies of interest include mobile computers, bar code technologies for bedside medication administration, electronic document management systems, and wireless network and security solutions.

Healthcare providers that can demonstrate meaningful use of EHRs by 2015 are eligible for sizeable financial incentives from CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services), while those that can’t will be subject to financial penalties. To help navigate this complex vertical, check out our sister site, healthitoutcomes.com.

Customers Want Mobile Solutions
Other highly researched topics on BSMinfo include wireless and mobility. Whether you have customers looking to make their mobile workforce more efficient, restaurant customers looking to accept tableside orders and payments, or retail customers looking to empower employees with tablets and other portable devices, there are many opportunities to land new sales. Such solutions potentially require wireless infrastructure, security for mobile solutions, mobile computers, and tablets. The proliferation of smartphones and tablets in the consumer marketplace has educated IT decision makers to the point that they don’t need much help understanding the ROI that can be realized with such solutions in the workplace. In 2012, try to identify how you can offer mobile solutions to your customers.

Services = Healthy Business
The last major trend I’ve noticed involves managed services. This term, while originally applicable to the general IT space, now has extended to solutions providers offering retail and restaurant technologies, VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol), and hard copy devices (printers, MFPs [multifunction peripherals], etc.). The reason for this widespread adoption of a services-based model is obvious — selling hardware alone and having a break-fix model equates to an anemic business. If you’re looking to improve the health of your business, look at how you can offer some sort of managed service. If you’re already selling some version of a managed service, consider adding services complementary to your core focus.

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