Channel partners failing to realise importance of sustainability credentials when winning new business

Survey reveals that 10% of channel respondents have failed to demonstrate sustainability pedigree and have lost business as a result.

DataSolutions, the specialist distributor of innovative IT and security solutions, has revealed more findings from its ‘How sustainable is the UK channel?’ survey of UK channel partners and end-user IT decision makers. The latest findings highlight a growing shift in the IT procurement landscape related to sustainability and how channel partners are underestimating how important their credentials will be in the coming years.



Lack of sustainability action impacts the bottom line


The changing IT procurement landscape is already inflicting pain on some organisations across the channel. 10 percent of channel respondents conceding they had lost a contract or tender because they could not demonstrate a sustainability pedigree. With sustainability on the agenda across the IT industry, many predict this will continue to increase in the coming years.



A growing priority for the channel


The survey also asked both channel respondents to rate four criteria (sustainability, price, performance and cost savings) based on their importance when it comes to IT procurement, and how this may change. Sustainability lagged a distant fourth, with channel respondents scoring it an average of 4.9 (on a scale of 0 to 10). This is compared to the three other criteria with price, performance and cost savings achieving average scores of 7.8, 7.9 and 7.3.



The picture changes when respondents are asked about their priorities in the next two years. Channel respondents awarded sustainability a 6.7 average score, compared with 7.6 for price, 7.8 for performance and 7.4 cost savings. Some 10 per cent felt it would be the single most important criteria by then, with a further 28 per cent awarding it their joint highest score.



The figures above hint not only that sustainability will become an increasingly important consideration for UK end users in the coming years, but also that some resellers and MSPs may be underestimating its relative importance among their customers (both now and in two years’ time).




Vendors not moving fast enough


With the likes of Oracle and IBM setting net zero goals, many within the UK channel have asked whether or not vendors are moving fast enough. When asked, just two percent of channel respondents “strongly agreed” that their vendors are doing enough to make their technology more sustainable, with 25 per cent agreeing “somewhat”. Clearly more action needs to be taken by vendors, and more quickly.



Techies Go Green


The Techies Go Green initiative, which was founded by DataSolutions, is a movement of IT and tech-oriented companies committed to decarbonising their businesses. Launched back in March 2021, over 160 signatories have now joined and began their sustainability journey. Signatories include Softcat, Version 1, Sapphire and ColorTokens. DataSolutions intends to double this by the end of 2022.




Michael O’Hara, Group Managing Director, DataSolutions, said: “What our sustainability report has shown is the growing importance of action being taken across the UK IT channel industry. It is no longer enough to pay lip service to this - if you don’t act and set an example, this could impact on your bottom line. We feel this is a positive sign that priorities are shifting, and whilst it doesn’t factor alongside price and performance just yet, sustainability is increasing in importance when it comes to which companies do business with who. Take us for example, we began our journey by moving our ERP system and other corporate applications to the cloud, adding electrical cars and charging points to the business while cutting down on business travel even after restrictions have eased.”



“Since launching Techies Go Green a year ago, we have had an incredible response from organisations across the UK channel and wider IT industry. We are looking to double our signatories this year and are very confident we will do so given how sustainability is growing in importance” added O’Hara.

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