Industry Trends with Forrester’s Channel Expert Jay McBain

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Published October 17, 2019

If you’ve been to a technology conference recently, you’ve likely seen Jay McBain on the keynote stage. The global channels expert at Forrester travels the world sharing analysis, insights, and predictions stemming from a host of facts, numbers and research.

Speaking of his fascination with numbers, McBain is predicting that in the next ten years there will be a million software companies. That’s a tremendous increase when you think about only having 175,000 software companies in the market today. So, what does that mean for the tech industry? Lots of opportunities, from new go-to-market strategies to digital transformation, just to name a couple.

McBain believes this growth will lead to even more opportunities for the technology channel because customers will be looking for partners to help them create new solutions. Right now, 75 percent of the world operates through the channel. McBain believes the opportunities are countless in terms of where the tech industry and channel could go in the future – with all signs looking bright.

During our interview, he also talked about all the changes the technology industry has experienced over the last 30 years. We’ve seen dozens of technology changes, such a shift in business models toward managed services, but nothing seemed more disruptive than the emergence of the new buyer. Customers are now buying and consuming technology in drastically different ways. McBain says customers now spend 68 percent of their time doing digital research before ever talking to someone.

He compares this trend to buying a new car. You do all the research online and pick out precisely the make and model you want, but when you get to the dealership, everything breaks. McBain says customers in the business world are feeling those same pains. His advice for channel partners? Get acquainted with these new buyers and their purchasing habits, understand their problems, and develop solutions to help solve their business challenges. Don’t let your customers purchase a lemon. 

Watch this video to hear more insights from McBain and how they impact the IT channel ecosystem:

Learn more about F5’s channel partner program, Unity+, and how to become an F5 partner here.