Only 12% of North American technology ecosystem business leaders say they will offer augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) solutions by 2024, despite aggregate analyst and financial research forecasting an $800 billion global metaverse market, in the next 24 months.

These findings are part of the first-ever TD SYNNEX Ecosystem Benchmark Report. While opportunity exists with the metaverse, these same businesses have fully embraced the professional services trend, with almost three-quarters of respondents anticipating increased revenue from this solution area.

Michael Urban, TD SYNNEX president of the Americas business says that, “[t]his report offers insights every type of IT channel partner can use to make smart investments in their businesses, expand strategically and accelerate the adoption of emerging technologies.” Conducted in collaboration with technology market analyst firm Canalys, the TD SYNNEX Ecosystem Benchmark Report underscores that every business is connected in the global technology ecosystem, as well as the rapid rate of change that has evolved to a state of relentless transformation.

The report was developed based on an industry survey of mid-size technology ecosystem partners, which is defined as technology companies with 1,000 seats and below. The North America Insights benchmark report identified four themes for the technology partner ecosystem in responses with a 24- to 36-month outlook:

  • Professional and managed IT services expansion
  • High-growth technology investments
  • As-a-service consumption model adoption
  • AR/VR opportunity gap

Growth Drivers

77% of North American partners say expanding technology solution offerings is important or very important, with a focus on solutions being directly linked to cloud capabilities, applying consumption-based models, and ensuring solutions are secured. Within 24 months, partners indicate offering technology solutions, including:

  • Device as a Service (31%)
  • IOT (23%)
  • Security (22%)
  • Cloud Integration (20%)
  • Cloud Deployment (20%)

Growth in Services 

Partners are making room for professional and managed IT services in their future business mix, anticipating the most increase over 36 months. The survey finds that every category of services are projected to grow: 

Services Type

Percent of partners indicating an increase

Professional Services


Managed Services


Packaged Services


Consumption-based XaaS


Product Lifecycle Services



Partners see the largest decrease in reselling hardware in the next three years, however, most North American partners (78%) forecast hardware resale will be fundamental to their business mix.

Networking (18%), Endpoint (16%), and Services and Storage (10%) representing three of the top five revenue drivers for partners. Networking came in as the single most profitable technology for North American partners.

Respondents indicate hardware categories represent the opportunity to attach services, and hardware-based programs, like device-as-a service, creating a virtuous cycle of revenue, which partners are prioritizing as part of their portfolio offerings within the next two years.

Reality Check on Emerging Business and Technology Trends, Investments

While 42% of partners say ESG (environmental, social and governance) activities aren’t applicable to their business, IT business leaders know they need to grow capabilities around sustainability and ESG, with 17% expressing the importance of ESG expertise or certification in three years.

The report notes that, “understanding the assignment around ESG can mean partners gain greater relevance in professional services consulting.”

Expansion Into New Verticals Parallels New Partnerships

North American IT partners signal that collaboration is a high-priority growth strategy, with 59% of respondents ranking engaging ecosystem partners as important or very important to future growth. This statistic is in tight alignment with the partners who indicate they will enter new vertical markets to grow (60%). Respondents also see an increasing need for expertise in government, healthcare, education and financial services over the next three years.

Kaye McMillan, vice president of sales transformation and development, and leader of TD SYNNEX CommunitySolv programming noted that, “[o]ne thing we consistently see in our communities program is that technology ecosystem collaboration accelerates time to market, reduces costs and minimizes technology skills gaps so partners can keep their eyes on what’s next.”

Survey Methodology

In partnership with Canalys, TD SYNNEX surveyed 300 mid-size technology ecosystem partners across North and South America, Europe and Asia Pacific countries. Mid-size technology ecosystem partner is defined as 1,000 seats and below. Fieldwork for the North American Insights Report was conducted between July and October 2022. The pool of survey respondents is comprised of 81 TD SYNNEX CommunitySolv and SMB IT businesses.

Source: TD Synnex