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Overall, 85 percent of VARBusiness 500 firms sell to the public sector. About 18 percent report that government or education accounts for the largest percentage of their business. Most sell to the federal government, 6 percent to state and local governments, 5 percent to K-12 education and 2.4 percent to colleges and universities. Two other strong verticals are banking and finance (16 percent) and health care (12 percent).
"The health-care industry is at a crossroads because technology promises to dramatically transform the way medical professionals deliver care to patients," says Mark Metz, CEO of Optimus Solutions (No. 205).
Those top verticals are also thought to have the strongest potential for growth in the coming year. The public sector is particularly lucrative; the federal government plans to spend more than $65 billion on IT in the coming fiscal year.
Vertical specialization doesn't come easy, even for the largest solution providers in the channel. More than half of the VARBusiness 500 partner with other solution providers to reach customers in specific vertical markets, and 54 percent are willing to do subcontracting work on projects.
In its totality, the results of the VARBusiness 500 research show that this exclusive club of North America's top IT solution providers is dynamic, innovative and indomitable.
Senior editor Jennifer Bosavage and research director Marilyn O'Hara contributed to this report.
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