Today, Sage,a leader in accounting, financial, HR and payroll technology for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) has revealed in its new report – Partnering for Success: State of the IT Channel Ecosystem – the growing interest in artificial intelligence (AI) as a potential revenue stream for IT channel decision-makers.
Surveying 1,700 IT and tech resellers globally, including 500 interviews in the United States, the report reveals that AI is among the most in-demand service for respondents globally. Thirty-three percent of U.S. respondents also listed AI and automated services as vital for their organization’s growth and customer pipeline, alongside cloud and SaaS applications (33 percent) and cyber security solutions (32 percent).
This interest in AI isn’t just being driven by customers. A third of IT and tech resellers (33 percent) cited AI and automated services as vital for their own organization’s growth. As a result, respondents are investing in adding more skills to their workforce. Half (51 percent) of those surveyed are recruiting employees with skill sets in AI and machine learning.
Cybersecurity solutions, and cloud and SaaS applications are also top of the agenda for channel partners. Those surveyed cited cybersecurity solutions (33 percent) and Cloud and SaaS applications (30 percent) as vital for their organization’s growth and customer pipeline, and hiring plans are being updated to reflect this.
“The value of artificial intelligence, machine learning and the automation that it can power is enormous, allowing small and medium businesses to increase productivity, save time and stay competitive in a constantly changing market,” said Aziz Benmalek, president at Sage.
He continued: “We believe AI will raise the bar for the work humans do and create possibilities, as opposed to just replacing human jobs. This wave of AI still requires judgment, experience and guidance so humans plus technology working together is where we will get great outcomes.”
Despite these ambitions, geopolitical tensions are a concern for IT and tech resellers, with 58 percent being concerned about the impact on their organization and vendors’ technology innovation.