Despite everything you read nowadays about software and cloud-based technology taking over the business world…Hardware isn’t dead.
This is borne out by several studies, including CompTia’s recent survey of IT providers. In their State of the Channel study, CompTIA found that few IT companies are “pure-play” cloud providers. Instead, they tend to span a number of business lines, ranging from IT consulting services to hardware sales.
In fact, channel partners reported that hardware remains a key part of their operations, with 55% of the respondents identifying hardware as very important to today’s channel – and that included cloud-oriented firms.
The reasons for this vary, but ultimately everything is driven by consumer need. Not all clients are ready to make a shift to cloud, partial or total. And sometimes, the customer doesn’t have the right hardware on which to run cloud systems. This is particularly true of security.
My perspective, which I provided for SearchIT Channel’s feature article on the CompTIA study, is that solution providers need to work closely with businesses to give them what they need–in the format that suits them best.
Small businesses need special consideration. They definitely don’t need complexity. Their greatest need is for uniformity and modernity. Small businesses evolve organically, as does their technology. Computers, servers, printers, software – they’re usually purchased at different times, for different needs. Cost is a big factor. It’s a fact of life that small businesses usually find themselves dealing with a collection of equipment from various small and large manufacturers, with multiple operating systems, and which as a result brings inherent vulnerability to security issues.
When we at Secure Designs talk to small businesses about security, we try to think pragmatically. How easy will it be for the owner or whoever is responsible for the technology to integrate security into what’s already in place?
In most cases, we find that small businesses need to construct a uniform hardware environment on which systems can be standardized. The choice between internally managing, or using a managed services provider (whether cloud or hardware-based) becomes a lot simpler.
Whatever the scenario, don’t count out the Hardware quite yet.