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Tech channel’s growing interest in AI as a revenue generator

PJ Bishop
PJ Bishop

There is more interest in AI and automated services as revenue generators, according to respondents to a global survey of 1700 IT and tech resellers by enterprise software group Sage.

Results of the survey have been documented in a new report ‘Partnering for Success: State of the IT Channel Ecosystem’ released by Sage.

Research shows that a third of the resellers who responded cited AI and automated services as vital for their own organisation’s growth.

In South Africa nearly half (49%) of respondents anticipate AI and automated services will continue to be a revenue stream of most interest to their customers in 18 months’ time, followed by cloud and SaaS applications (42%).

74% have invested effort in adding more skills to their workforce, whilst 63% are actively recruiting employees with skill sets in cyber security, and 58% recruiting those with programming, coding and development skills.

57% of South African respondents have invested effort into providing customers with an affordable entry point, and 55% have invested in adding more AI, automation, and machine learning capabilities.

“This research shows how the AI revolution has transformed cyber security, offering both benefits and challenges. Collaboration between humans and AI is vital for countering emerging threats and maintaining robust cyber security in the digital age,” says PJ Bishop, VP: Partners, Alliances and Services, AME at Sage. “By prioritising cyber security in the cloud and SaaS domains, organisations can - together with its people - create a secure digital environment.”

Amidst these ambitions, geopolitical tensions are also a concern for IT and tech resellers, with 58% concerned about the impact on their organisation and vendors' technology innovation.

Despite this, the recent explosion in generative AI and sustainable computing is feeding long-term recovery, says Sage.

Eduardo Rosini, EVP: partners and alliances at Sage, says: “The research emphasises the need for companies to anticipate customer demands and make purposeful investments that will propel growth and maintain a competitive edge.

“Central to this transformative journey is the power of AI, particularly generative AI, as a critical accelerator. This wave of AI still requires judgement, experience, and guidance, so humans plus technology working together is where we will get great outcomes."

Rosini believes this approach "will see organisations unlock new levels of productivity, innovation, and customer-centricity".

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