There are a number of factors influencing today’s management of data centres. IT professionals are not only searching for simplicity of information management, they’re also striving to reduce ongoing costs. Pressure is also mounting on CIOs within organisations to keep pace with new trends while reducing the number of infrastructure silos. These trends will in turn have a number of downstream effects on IT reseller channels which will need to bring new thinking as to how they address the needs of their customers. Just over the horizon, the roll out of the government’s ultra-fast broadband (UFB) initiative will undoubtedly provide opportunities for both data centre managers and reseller channels. Consumer and SMB competition Clearly for the consumer market UFB will mean new-found access to faster, more reliable internet. There lies the opportunity for data centre managers to reach out to consumers via the reseller community with a range of exciting new services consumers would not have previously had access to, or considered. To that extent, UFB is going to provide healthy competition for the larger telco-operated data centres – particularly when it comes to taking their services to the market. The impact and opportunities for resellers are substantial. Take for example the growing trend of consumers using IT-as-a-Service rather than investing in their own infrastructure. Data centre providers already understand this new landscape but at the same time consumers of IT are also realising the potential of new and emerging technologies. The voices of the SMBs are also being heard – they are asking their IT teams not only to help solve their problems, but also to add innovation to their business. They want greater relevance between their costs and the revenue that is generated – in other words, they know it’s good to have the data but they want to know how they can derive value from it. Of course data is extremely relevant but the cost of the infrastructure designed to reach it can be too high for SMBs to do it themselves. So resellers who can provide the means and access to IT-as-a-Service will fulfil this growing need. For resellers, the paradigm shift in how their customers access IT provides a number of opportunities and challenges. It involves added costs for resellers and there is a lot of pencil-sharpening going on at various levels in the supply chain as the utility model takes hold and customers seek economies of scale. But most resellers have been in business in New Zealand for many years and we have little doubt they will be quick to adapt to these new business opportunities in an ever-changing world of IT.