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31 May 2022
Canalys analysts give their views on hot topics for the Canalys Forums 2022 in this series of interviews. The future of the PC industry will be a key subject for our Expert Hub discussions with vendors and leading channel partners.
The global PC market has undergone a remarkable boom, posting double-digit growth in 2020 and 2021. With the PC now firmly cemented at the heart of our work, learning and leisure, the future remains bright, even as the industry faces short-term challenges.
Looking ahead, how are vendors aligning their PC market strategies for 2022 and 2023? In this year’s Canalys Forums, we will run Expert Hub discussions that focus on what vendors are doing to sustain growth and how they are tackling supply chain issues in the PC market.
We talked to our analyst specialists as part of a Canalys Expert Interview series in the run-up to the Canalys Forums. Here, Ishan Dutt, Canalys Senior Analyst, answers the questions:
Your research focuses on the global PC market – what will the rest of 2022 bring for the industry?
After a sustained period of stellar success since the onset of COVID-19, the PC market is facing serious challenges in 2022. These don’t stem from any fall in the fundamental importance of PCs to our lives but rather because major geopolitical, macroeconomic and supply-chain factors have coincided to exert unprecedented pressure on the industry. The Russia-Ukraine conflict, lockdowns in key Chinese cities and rising inflation are all taking their toll on PC supply and demand. Navigating these concerns will be hard, and Canalys expects overall PC shipments will fall 6% this year. But it’s important to remember that numbers will remain higher than before the pandemic and that revenue is strong, with Q1 2022 total PC market value up 23% compared with a year ago.
How is the return to offices and hybrid working affecting the PC market?
Both these trends will contribute to the strength of the commercial PC market, which Canalys expects to grow 5% in 2022 despite the external challenges. More than ever before, workers are acutely aware of how important a top-notch PC is to their quality of life and productivity under remote or hybrid workstyles. Many have found that the device they were given during the pandemic wasn’t up to scratch, and companies will need to upgrade their PCs to ensure their employees are satisfied with this new way of working. At the same time, more employees are returning to offices on a more consistent basis, and many companies haven’t refreshed on-site technology since 2019 or even earlier. Delivering an excellent experience with technology will be vital to ensure staff feel motivated to return to offices after a long time away.
What should vendors be talking about with partners at the Channels Forums 2022?
Businesses are facing greater complexity in managing PCs and associated technology due to the growing hybrid working trend. That this trend is happening during a period of major economic uncertainty means that they will turn to the channel for creative, effective and budget-friendly solutions. Vendors will need to invest to support these efforts and be realistic and transparent about how these global headwinds will affect issues such as device supply and market prioritization.
As we head into 2023, what is one key technology trend that the channel must prepare for?
Around the world, the pandemic years brought about a massive increase in the number of small businesses. Moving into 2023, we are going to see a lot of these businesses that have made it through their formative years start to target scale and their digital strategies will be front and center. Partners that can understand their requirements and pain points around technology will need to assist them on their digital transformation journeys and doing so will find them a wealth of new opportunities for long-term business.
How do you think attending the Canalys Forums, either onsite or virtually, helps vendors and partners?
The Canalys Forums provide a great platform for exchanging ideas and sparking connections. Vendors and partners can come out with concrete actions they can take to improve their businesses. There is a lot of noise surrounding the key trends that are taking root in the industry. Hearing directly from each other at our events is hugely beneficial to distill valuable information and leave feeling better prepared for the year ahead. On top of that, to the extent that the event is onsite this year, the relationship-building element of face-to-face meetings and discussions is something to look forward to after the last two years of virtual interactions.
Expert Hub discussions will take place physically and virtually at the Canalys Forums 2022. They are panels for the channel to discuss the channel and to help inform the vendors on what’s real and what’s not. Attendees can watch, comment and ask questions.
Partners and vendors wanting to secure places at the Canalys Forums should register their interest or contact their Canalys account manager now.