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By 4 November 2021 | Categories: feature articles

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By Spencer Chen, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rectron South Africa

The pandemic has left the channel in unchartered waters; challenging many of the assumptions that we once had about channel structures, according to a survey from the 2112 Group. But it’s not all bad. In fact, COVID-19 has been a catalyst for transformation across the industry; transformation that is long overdue.

As vaccine rollout strengthens, the hope is also that the next wave won’t be as severe with more people having had at least one shot. With this comes the opening up of the economy, which will bring business opportunities to the channel. We should see channel players starting to run more in-person events to bring personal connections back to business.

Some of the market trends that dominated 2021 will carry into 2022. Supply will continue to impact the local channel, but the situation is stabilising. A major challenge that the world faces is that nowadays, everything is smart, and all of this smart tech needs a chip – be it a car, fridge, vacuum cleaner etc. This, along with pervasive lockdown restrictions, has put immense pressure on the supply chain. The pandemic has also fundamentally changed business buying behaviour as such the future business buyer looks more and like a consumer.

In response to these changes, we outline some of the new and ongoing trends the channel should be keeping an eye on as we head into 2022.

1: Security, compliance and data ethics take centre stage

With people working from so many different locations – be it at home, in the office or in shared workspaces – security and data protection is more important than ever.
By the middle of 2022, POPIA will have been in effect for a full year, and we should also start seeing the information regulator making examples of companies that have not adhered to privacy and data security. For the most part, larger corporates are more ready, but SMBs are still trying to wrap their heads around what they need to do to be compliant.

No matter what size your business is, regular employee training will be a business imperative. Making sure that your teams understand where the risks lie is no longer a nice-to-have, it is a must-have. All data generated by remote workers and on-site teams must be backed up. This presents an opportunity to supply all the supporting equipment needed make these back-ups possible.


2: Growth in hybrid cloud deployment

According to a report from the IDC, more than 90% of global enterprises will rely on hybrid cloud by 2022.  The IDC also forecasts that "whole cloud" spending – including total worldwide spending on cloud services, the hardware and software components underpinning the cloud supply chain, and the professional/managed services opportunities around cloud services – will surpass $1.3 trillion by 2025. What does this mean for the channel going forward? Well, it means providing a comprehensive suite of cloud solutions that address a business’ public and on-premise needs.

3: Major shifts in healthcare

The healthcare sector experienced dramatic changes due to the pandemic. And, there are certain things that will never go back to the way they once were. Going forward, we expect the channel to have to deliver more purpose-built healthcare technology, designed to ensure that the right patient receives the right care at the right time. This technology connects medical staff with the relevant patient data and treatment plans so that they have the insights they need in real time.

4: Entertainment, gaming on the up

We saw this explosion start last year, but the gaming market has now surpassed the market for movies and music combined, with the direct and indirect value of the gaming industry expected to exceed R4,4 trillion this year. Of this, an estimated R2,9 trillion will be from direct spend on consoles, software and subscriptions, in-game purchases, and mobile ad revenues and a further R1,4 trillion from adjacent industries like mobile devices, gaming PCs, and gaming-related technologies. In 2022, we don’t this slowing down and expect more and more people to look for alternatives to stay entertained at home and gaming is an obvious next step.

5: Alternative power supply as a must-have

Earlier this year, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) published its latest annual statistics on power generation in South Africa, showing that the country spends 10% of the year in a state of load shedding, and that Eskom’s power output capabilities have steadily decreased over the last three years.

In 2022 it’s time to invest in solutions that make power outages a non-issue. Recently, alternative power solutions have evolved and improved, making it more and more possible for people and businesses to go off grid. Investing in a UPS or a power inverter, solar panels or batteries is now far more affordable, and these technologies offer viable alternatives for those who are keen to reduce their dependence on the electrical grid.

At Rectron, we work closely with our partners to provide businesses with the best certified IT solutions, and we aim to help them architect the right solutions for their customers. You can find out more about Rectron here.

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