SDN and SDS Key for CIOs

Expo hears cloud and differentiation also key issues for channel.

Software defined networking (SDN) and software defined storage (SDS) are key concerns for chief information officers (CIOs), delegates at the ITEX 2015 National Conference and Expo in Fort Lauderdale, FL heard today.

In his keynote address, Lawrence M. Walsh, CEO and chief analyst at The 2112 Group, said this was a top concern for CIOs he speaks with.

“CIOs consistently tell me that what’s getting them excited is SDN and SDS. This is the ability to manipulate where the pipes go, increase and decrease capacity on demand,” Wash said. “They’re interested in this because they don’t want to continue to add more infrastructure and they want to be able to leverage those hosted third-party resources with greater efficiency. And the way they do that is through scalable management resourcing systems.”

Delegates also heard that the four major trends in the channel right now consist of cloud, big data, mobility and information management services, with Walsh telling delegates that customers will more and more want their solution provider to take control of their IT systems.

“Most of your customers – unless technology businesses themselves – use technology as a means to an end,” he said. “It’s not what they do. And increasingly what you will see is more of your customers looking to companies like yours not just to provide them with a product and guidance on what to buy and how to adopt it, but for you to actually [run the technology] for them.”

However, Walsh warned solution providers that customers’ expectations where cloud is concerned may be difficult to manage.

Our research has shown us that the customer has not just high expectations, but unrealistic expectations about what’s going to happen with cloud. Because marketers have done a fabulous job of selling the cloud – we’ve told the customer that up in the cloud, magic happens. As a result of that customers have a different set of expectations than what we can actually deliver.”

He also warned that those solution providers that don’t evolve their business and embrace the ever-changing market, may find that they lose their place in the channel.

“What makes you different?” Walsh asked. “Because if you don’t differentiate, you look like everyone else. There is no reason to buy from you as opposed to buying from someone next to you. What is your secret sauce?”

Solution providers heard that they must have something that differentiates them from the competition. “What is the thing that you provide that no-one else does?” Walsh said.

“What is the attached service or attached product that you can deliver that no-one else can? Differentiation is a means for making sure that the customer not only recognizes you for the vale that you have, but retains that recognition and stays with you.”

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