In this the second of our ARN special guides on vertical markets, we turn our attention to government.
Federal, state and local government - when taken - have the second largest wallet in the country when it comes to ICT spend. And yet viewing the three tiers of government as a whole is little more than a statistical exercise because the requirements of a major Federal department are about as far removed from those of a rural council as those of a major bank would be from a chain of real estate agents.
As you will see in the main feature article within this supplement, some individual government departments spend more on ICT each year than any of the large corporate entities that spring readily to mind. At the other end of the scale, as you will see from the Kiama case study, some local councils are looking for effective solutions to very particular problems - in this instance, simplifying lines of communications with the broad community.
Yet the breadth of organisations within government is no different to that which exists within the ICT industry, and this diversity means there are opportunities for everybody to win business in this market.
Regularly supplying thousands of servers, PCs and monitors to a major department is a game that few can afford to play because of the razor-thin margins on offer, but providing niche solutions to smaller bodies that don't have large, internal IT teams is a much broader opportunity open to any channel players that can demonstrate the necessary skills and build ongoing relationships.
As repeatable business, many channel companies could do worse than establishing themselves as specialists within local government.
Brian Corrigan is the editorial director of ARN.