Research claiming that hardware sales are falling in favour of services and solutions has received a mixed reaction from UK resellers.
A survey published last week by analyst IDC concluded that hardware makes up an increasingly small part of sales, and that the focus has shifted to services and solutions.
Stephen Minton, research manager for IDC's Europe, Middle East & Africa IT Markets Centre, said: "The new IT spending model focuses more on solutions than on boxes of hardware and wires and cases. Hardware has been relegated to a loss leader."
The UK is leading this trend. In 1999, hardware accounted for 42 per cent of US IT spending, while in Europe this figure had fallen to 38 per cent and was below 32 per cent in the UK.
Resellers need to be aware of the long-term projection of hardware sales and refocus their business models towards solutions, said IDC.
Although this is not a new concept, John Keogh, managing director of reseller Obotek Systems, agreed that resellers which stick with hardware could be under threat.
"From our perspective I would agree with IDC. As a systems builder and IT consultancy, the amount of business we have seen in hardware sales is just a fraction of what it was 18 months ago," he said.
But Bob Tobin, technical director at Sun reseller Acara, disagreed with IDC's findings. "We don't offer any services and our sales for May, June and July have been phenomenal. Our hardware sales have done nothing but increase," he said.
"The fall in hardware sales may be relevant to the PC industry, but as far as Unix areas are concerned, it is growing strongly," he added.
First published in Computer Reseller News
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