7 Solution Provider CEOs On the AI Opportunities Ahead

As solution providers position themselves to capture AI opportunities, here’s how seven channel CEOs think they can make their mark.

There’s no hotter topic in the IT channel right now than AI, with solution providers across the market making their choices on how to build out their AI technology stacks and bringing new solutions to market.

AI is touching many parts of solution providers’ businesses, from hardware and software to networking, security and even service delivery, impacting not only what the channel sells but also how the channel itself does business.

As solution providers plant their AI flags, they are also navigating the potential risks AI brings, helping customers and their own internal teams put the proper guardrails in place.

“Incorporating the appropriate measures to ensure topical, ethical and security guardrails without hampering innovation is an absolute must for any AI strategy,” said Bob Cagnazzi, CEO of New York-based solution provider Presidio, in CRN’s 2024 CEO Outlook project.

In that project, published earlier this year, CRN asked over 150 CEOs across the IT industry to weigh in with their thoughts on a number of topics, including the effect of AI.

As part of CRN’s AI Week 2024, here’s a look at the impact seven solution provider CEOs expect AI to have on their business this year and how they are preparing for success.

Garrette Backie

Founder and CEO

Clutch Solutions

AI for Clutch Solutions is both an internal and external business exercise, in that we are optimizing our own organization while also supporting our clients on their AI journey. This touches all parts of the IT perspective from hardware and storage, networking, hybrid workloads, SaaS applications, endpoint, data, cyber, control frameworks and managed services. The interesting aspect, given all the noise in the market, we are finding is that our clients are keen to start an AI journey but often don't make it past the pilot phase, as they are not equipped with the proper people, processes or products to activate that effort in production.

Bob Cagnazzi



The impact of AI will benefit both Presidio's customers and our internal processes. For customers, it's all about innovation and governance. With all the hype around AI, we're helping customers execute against what is achievable with this technology and determine the best architectural approach to building GenAI solutions with tangible outcomes for their organization. I've mentioned governance, I can't stress that enough. Incorporating the appropriate measures to ensure topical, ethical, and security guardrails without hampering innovation is an absolute must for any AI strategy. Internally, we are aggressively working to leverage AI to drive consistency and automation in our internal processes and procedures, which ultimately allows us to invest more time working directly with our customers.

Josh Dinneen


Blue Mantis

AI will have a critical dual role for Blue Mantis. From an internal perspective, it will be strategically deployed to create greater go-to-market efficiencies and deliver greater visibility into key business indicators. We also expect that AI will augment our human-led approach to delivering the best possible client experience, help reduce costs through automation and help clients realize a multitude of new opportunities and how to apply them to their business.

Irfan A Khan

President, CEO


The impact of AI on our businesses is extensive and multifaceted and is touching nearly every aspect of operations and customer acquisition and engagement at CLOUDSUFI. We are transforming how our businesses operate, how we interact with customers and, internally, how we make decisions. At CLOUDSUFI, we have a philosophy of "eating our own dog food." We have leveraged AI to improve our delivery team by enhancing customer service and using data analysis and predictive insights to predict our customers' business issues. Our sales organization is leveraging lead scoring: [using] AI to help identify high-quality leads and prioritize sales efforts. AI-powered recommendation engines internally suggest products or content to customers based on their interests and browsing history, driving sales and engagement. Our most valuable assets are our employees. AI assists in candidate screening, employee engagement analysis and workforce planning.

Nyasha Tunduwani


Real Impact Technology Consulting

We anticipate AI to be a significant growth driver for our business, particularly among our enterprise and midmarket customers. We foresee sustained high demand in the manufacturing, retail and entertainment industries in both the U.S. and Latin America. Our expertise in both generative and applied AI will enhance our ability to effectively guide our customers. Additionally, AI readiness, governance and coaching are expected to generate substantial revenue opportunities for us this year.

Jeff Von Deylen



Ensono expects AI to impact three strategic categories. Internally, we leverage IBM Watson and other partner tools to drive operational efficiency, optimizing workflows and reducing costs. Simultaneously, our commitment to seamless service delivery is realized through AIOps, utilizing platforms like ServiceNow to predict and preempt incidents, ensuring a superior client experience. Additionally, Ensono provides AI advisory services to clients, supported by key technology partnerships. Our AI advisory services enable clients to harness their data for enhanced decision-making, benefiting their associates and clients alike. Overall, our continued investments and innovations in AI underscore our dedication to delivering optimal outcomes for clients through efficiency gains, improved operations, and data-driven strategies.

Lori Williams



Over time, many areas of the organization will be impacted. We have built an AI roadmap for internal optimization across all the pillars of our business. Technology aside, we are also spending time understanding the macro business impacts and the change management associated with AI. While AI technologies are evolving rapidly, there is also a long game, which is equally important to understand.