"It’s going to be a great year ahead for resellers,” says EMC Australia and New Zealand marketing CTO Clive Gold. Gold is predicting significant changes in the IT sector in 2012, from hot new jobs in data science to increasing competition in the enterprise IT space. And he says that change spells good news for the reseller channel. "There is massive change happening in IT and the thing is that whenever there is change there is massive opportunities for the channel.” Among the trends which will provide big opportunities for resellers, is the increasing move to virtualisation. "Lots of organisations have started virtualising their environment, but New Zealand is a little way behind. Those who have started the vitualisation process will extend it to more mission critical systems, while laggards will have to catch up quick. Either way, there will be plenty more opportunities there.” Gold says the UFB roll-out will also bring opportunities for savvy resellers. "There will be more opportunity to move to managed services, or cloud services. And in that case, organisations really will need to rely on someone to give good advice on assessing what the different managed service providers are offering – and that’s always a good place for the channel to step in and become the trusted advisor. " He believes there will also be plenty of scope for resellers themselves to move into the managed service provider role. "We have seen huge numbers of fairly small channel players move into managed services. They can start very small and move upwards.” He advises resellers to think hard about their core value – be it as integration experts, operational experts or so forth – and then translate that into the real world. "Operational experts who deal in how to run things more efficiently will be well suited to virtualisation operations, for example.” He notes that an IDC survey highlighted that the vast majority of the channel surveyed saw cloud as a massive opportunity, rather than a threat. "The channel tends to be small organisations who by their very nature tend to be more positive – you have to be a glass-half-full person to set up a business, particularly in a small market like New Zealand.” And on the career front, Gold says big data and the need to extract value from all the data, means there’s a hot new career – data science. He says demand for those with data science aptitude who can blend advanced maths with social sciences will be a sustained need for an entirely new class of knowledge workers. "Data scientists are in high demand and because the average IT person in New Zealand has a very wide skill base, they’re well suited to the role. You have to have a broad outlook and that’s always been a strength of New Zealand IT people.