CompTIA projects massive global spending on IT in 2014

You see a lot of mirages in the broiling desert air around Phoenix, Ariz., but one thing that's not a midsummer night's dream is the mammoth number CompTIA attached to the global appetite for IT products and services on Monday. Roughly $3.7 trillion will change hands in 2014.

That projection emerged on the first day of CompTIA's annual ChannelCon event, held this year at Phoenix's Desert Range Resort & Spa. CompTIA pitched the spending bonanza in connection with its brand new Channel Primer, a set of customizable training materials and other content aimed at helping organizations to harness the power of the "channel."

That's industry parlance for the indirect sales channel, or the flow of IT goods and services from provider to consumer through an affiliate, partner, reseller, or other intermediary. Products flow in one direction, and a river of gold (or greenbacks, or credit card transactions) comes back in the other. It's estimated that as much as 75 percent of the magic $3.7T figure flows through the channel. In addition to being providers, tech companies are frequently positioned in the partner, affiliate, and reseller roles.

CompTIA executive Kelly Ricker said in a ChannelCon press release that the Channel Primer is intended to help businesses and organizations catch the vision — and get a bigger piece of the action. "This training regimen will provide staff members with a better appreciation of the contributions that the indirect sales channel makes to overall organizational performance," Ricker said. "With this knowledge, they will be better prepared to provide support to their channel partners."

Also of note as ChannelCon kicked into high gear, was the focused discussion of IT areas where business opportunities are expanding: cloud technology, mobile technology and IT security. There was also discussion of a different kind of opportunity, as a meeting of CompTIA's Advancing Women in IT Community sought to rally interest in actively recruiting women and girl to pursue IT education and careers. The Advancing Women in IT short-term goal is to make positive contact with 10,000 potential female IT initiates.

ChannelCon continues through Wednesday.

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