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5 Big IT Channel Trends To Watch Out For In 2020

The old adage that change is the only constant holds true, especially accelerating change. From consolidation to disruption, here are five big IT channel trends to keep an eye on as the industry moves into 2020.

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More Consolidation

2019 was a year full of consolidation in the channel, with deals ranging from tiny acquisitions like Solutions II’s purchase of 20-employee CMI in February to massive acquisitions like Insight's move to buy PCM to create a $9-billion channel giant and multi-company roll-ups like that of GTY which in February closed its purchase of six small solution providers and MSPs. Meanwhile, large solution providers are purchasing ever smaller companies primarily in a bid for either new skill sets or new territories, or both.

Expect this to continue even stronger in 2020. There is a recognition among investors that the channel is a fractured market, with a lot of small solution providers and MSPs competing for ever more sophisticated contracts for leading-edge technologies such as the cloud, IoT, and analytics. For many of these technologies, size does matter, whether it's in both hiring the engineers capable of tackling the new business requirements AND keeping them busy enough to justify their hire or getting attention from both customers and vendors. The size bar over which a solution provider can continue at the breakneck speed required to bring new technologies to market continues to rise, and for many in the channel, growth or even survival becomes a merge or acquisition question.

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