Many players in the channel will see revenues shrink unless they embrace the raft of available standards-based integration technologies, according to Gartner's emerging technology analyst, Bob Hayward.
Speaking at the analyst company's IT Symposium last week, he said the channel needs to concentrate on integrating solutions rather than simply implementing technology.
One of the key focuses at this year's Gartner event was business process management combined with service orientated architecture and Web services. But the channel has so far been slow to make the most of these technologies, Hayward claimed.
"There's a great deal of frustration from the product vendors in this space because they believe strongly they have rich functional products in this area but the channel doesn't seem to be really taking full advantage of it," he said. "There is a debate underway that this could be a threat to the traditional business models of consultants and integrators because theoretically what might have taken 60 developers six months to do might be done with this new paradigm by three business analysts in three weeks.
"As far as the customer is concerned, brilliant; as far as the tools vendor is concerned, brilliant; but as far as the channel integrators are concerned, it's a loss of revenue," he said.
Embracing these integration technologies would enable the channel to combine some of the top new technologies into value-added solutions, Hayward said.
He highlighted VoIP as the most important emerging technology for 2005. Others on the radar included grid computing, instant messaging, RFID, mesh networks, location-aware services and real-time infrastructure.