Context: Channel remains optimistic

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There are plenty of reasons to be gloomy right now, with high inflation, energy prices causing problems, and the supply chain constraints that have plagued the IT world continue to frustrate.

But the reasons for optimism remain and, according to the latest ChannelWatch According to Context, retailers across Europe are quite optimistic about the future.

Market Watcher found that 62% of channel partners surveyed expected their business to perform better over the next 12 months. Just over a quarter (27%) expected no change and only 10% were preparing for things to get worse.

The context brings together the answers for its ChannelWatch between april and july, reflection on future prospects was therefore carried out against a backdrop of the war in Ukraine, rising energy prices and rising inflation.

What seems to give the impression that all will be well is the continued demand for cloud services, security and networking.

Context revealed that nearly half of respondents said they would invest in cloud products and services in the coming year, continuing a trend seen over the past four years.

There was also an increase in people looking to make sure they were in a good position to sell and support networking, security, and managed printing services.

In the B2C market, there were also signs that the majority (65%) planned to invest in the next 12 months, despite slowing demand and ongoing supply chain issues. Components, hard drives/SDDs and printers were among the hardware areas that were gaining investment.

“Despite the headwinds, we are clearly seeing resilience in the IT reseller landscape as we head into a recession,” said Adam Simon, Global Managing Director of Context.

“Priorities have changed. More and more organizations are saying “we need to invest in IT because it’s critical to our business”, and it’s reflected here. Much of the opportunity will focus on the SMB reseller space, which is already the best performing area in the market. »

Optimism is not as strong in the channel’s target market, with the latest SME Finance Monitor for the second quarter of 2022 published by BVA BDRC indicating that economic concerns are having an impact.

For many SMEs, life had started to improve as the pandemic receded, but the economic problems triggered by the war and the cost-of-living crisis clouded customer sentiment.

“As the impact of the pandemic fades, SMEs have found themselves facing new challenges, including rising costs and a changing economic climate,” said Shiona Davies, director of BVA BDRC. “As a result, the improvements seen in 2021 across a range of measures, such as mood, optimism about the future and plans for growth, appear to have stalled.

“While the appetite for funding has returned to pre-pandemic levels, concerns over facility repayments have eased somewhat. This latest report is based on data collected through the end of June , and a lot has happened since. The coming months will reveal the impact of these new challenges, but also of the support provided, on the optimism and ambition of SMEs.

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