What You Need to Know About The Rise of the Shadow Channel

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Jay McBain, lead analyst at Forrester coined the term #ShadowChannel in homage to a trend last decade called shadow IT or rogue IT. You brought your own devices to work and IT Directors had heart attacks. Well, the shadow channel simply refers to non-traditional partners who are becoming a powerful force in the technology market – professional services like accountants, SaaS ecosystem partners like media agencies, born-in-the-cloud, start-ups, systems integrators moving down into the mid- and small business market. It includes, Marketplaces, App Exchanges, the sale of IoT (Internet Of Things), hardware, software, Plug and Play Services 
Why would you care?
This shadow channel is experiencing explosive growth – #Salesforce is closing down its reseller channel and recruiting 250,000 new non-transacting partners over the next 4 years to exploit the $4.14 downstream revenue for every $1 Salesforce generates. Forrester is forecasting that ISVs (independent software vendors) will grow their tech alliance partnerships from 175,000 worldwide today to more than 1,000,000 by 2029. Investment is flooding into the space with over 5,000 ISVs receiving in excess of $1m in investment in 2019 to co-sell, co-market with alliance partners. The exponential growth in RPA (robotic process automation), low or no-code programming of software, AI (artificial intelligence), ML (machine learning) and other forms of emerging technology is causing heads to reel.
Jay and I discuss the changing channel landscape, what it means for laggards and thought leaders, the size of the market, the opportunity it represents and why demographics is having such a marked impact on the technology channel. We explore a concept Jay calls #vectors which allows you to make some sense of the channel complexity which is coming which looks like it will offer 35 MILLION permutations to hyper-specialise.
We discuss the new buying journey and how you can get in at the start of that journey to influence the buying journey to capitalise on your clients’ rapidly changing needs with margins as high as 60-80%. You’ll learn why it is critical that you adapt what you say and who you are speaking to if you are to survive in a market where up to 80% of buying decisions will be made by the lines of business managers NOT by IT, and in a market where 90% of technology will be sold with or through partners by 2026, which is just around the corner in case you thought you had a lot of time!
Eye-opening change being delivered at eye-watering speed, this interview with Jay McBain explains why understanding the shadow channel could represent a watershed moment in your business or career
Jay’s excellent blog can be found here: jaymcbain.com
He can be found on Twitter 
Jay has been involved in the channel for the past 3 decades at #IBM, #Lenovo, #Datto and #ChannelEyes, is a key global influencer and a highly sought after speaker

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