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Ingram Micro, TD Synnex, D&H CEOs On The 2023 Economic Outlook

Joseph F. Kovar

The top executives from three major IT distributors, in exclusive conversations with CRN at the recently-concluded Global Technology Distribution Council summit, say that the distribution model protects them—and the IT industry in general—from such macroeconomic headwinds as inflation and a potential recession.

Not Feeling The Headwinds

The multibillion-dollar IT distribution industry plays a key role in deploying IT. Sure, distributors are well-known for their ability to bring products and services from vendors to solution providers, and to help finance the sale of those products and services through to the final users. But their roles have expanded over the years to include ever-more sophisticated services around configuring and deploying IT solutions and aggregating multi-vendor solutions.

The evolution in IT distribution’s services capabilities has given distributors a unique role to play during economically challenging times. Rather than be buffeted by cyclical changes in supply and demand caused by macroeconomic changes such as inflation or the global COVID-19 pandemic, IT distributors have evolved not only to thrive in trying times, but to act as a buffer against trying economic times for channel partners and their customers. They do this by continually updating their focus based on customer needs, adding or subtracting capacity as product requirements change and developing new services to smooth out the ripples caused by the move from IT feast or famine and back again.

For instance, said TD Synnex CEO Rich Hume, in a recession, it’s important to understand that, regardless of the economic cycle, within IT there’s always value.

[Related: Delivering Business Outcomes: Ingram Micro Helps Partners Bridge The Gaps In Their Services Offerings]

“We’re privileged to have a very large portfolio,” Hume said. “And as economic cycles impact some of those areas, and perhaps not others, we have the opportunity to make sure we’re transitioning our sales engagement or energy to where there is demand. So I think it‘s really important to recognize that large portfolios, be it geographic or offering, are things that help to insulate a little bit as opposed to being concentrated in one area or the other.”

CRN sat down at the recently concluded Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC) with the top executives of three of the IT industry’s top distributors, including Hume, Ingram Micro CEO Paul Bay, and D&H Co-president Dan Schwab, to talk about three of the top macroeconomic headwinds that could impact the IT industry:

* How might inflation impact IT distribution and the industry as a whole.

* The potential impact should a long-expected recession hit the global economy.

* Whether uncertainties from a potential move by the U.S. Congress to not raise the debt ceiling could impact IT.

To learn more about the potential impacts from these macroeconomic issues and the role IT distributors play in smoothing out the impacts, click through our slideshow.

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Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at

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