COVID-19 causes analytics services market to pause, allowing vendors to prove the true value of analytics and better train their AI models


All vendors tracked in TBR’s Digital Transformation: Analytics Professional Services Benchmark except Oracle expanded their analytics services revenue in 1Q20, albeit at a slower pace from the previous year, highlighting that optimizing IT operations — through the use of analytics — is becoming table stakes for buyers.

Accenture took over the No. 1 spot from IBM Services in revenue size in 1Q20, something TBR saw coming a couple of years ago. In TBR’s 1Q18 A&I Professional Services Benchmark, we wrote, “In 1Q14, when TBR launched the inaugural edition of this benchmark, Accenture’s quarterly A&I services revenue was just over half the volume of IBM’s. In 1Q18 Accenture was nearly 85% of IBM’s size in overall A&I services revenue, surpassing Big Blue in three service lines and one region. Though IBM made significant strides to reshape its services organization over the last four years, those efforts came too late to protect its market share.”

TBR’s Digital Transformation: Analytics Professional Services Benchmark addresses changes in leading digital transformation vendors’ strategies and performances as well as their investments and go-to-market positions as it relates to the ever-evolving analytics services market. The report includes use cases and analysis of IT services’ and consultancies’ management of technology partnerships as well as highlights region-specific market trends to benchmark key service line, regional and operational data across 20 leading analytics services vendors.

As COVID-19 inspires greater cloud usage, customers seek security and customization benefits in hosted private cloud options

Market overview

Infrastructure services hosted as single-tenancy offerings remain desirable to customers that are looking to bridge the gap between utilizing public clouds and building their own private clouds on premises. The global COVID-19 outbreak weighed heavily on many IT vendors’ business models during the quarter; however, the hosted private cloud space was less susceptible to the economic impacts of the pandemic given the annuity-based revenue streams gained through cloud sales. Long term, TBR expects the hosted private cloud market to record pockets of growth as we expect COVID-19 to prompt greater cloud usage, and many customers will turn to private cloud solutions as a preliminary step in the digital transformation process. Further, benchmarked vendors will benefit from enterprises’ increasingly hybrid scenarios, which are generally purchased on a workload-by-workload basis.


The Hosted Private Cloud Benchmark analyzes different enterprise use cases and vendor strategies. For example, the benchmark looks at how workloads such as ERP will drive demand for hosted private cloud SaaS due to the mission-critical nature of those services and their associated data.

COVID-19’s societal pressures kick up a Digital Dust Bowl

Evolving business activity and social interaction have been on a collision course with dated public policy best practices for decades

Three years ago, TBR put out a report called The impending Digital Dust Bowl: Mitigation, survival and interdependence, in which we evaluated the social, economic and political arenas and examined how the pivot to digital business and social interactions was disrupting society. In the interim, we have discussed what seems to be transpiring as a societal rebirth, arguing that while there would be pain involved as a normal component of bringing about new life, the end result would be a better world because of what the technology industry can enable the world to do. Big changes are on the cusp of commercialization as blockchain ensures data accuracy, machine learning addresses new queries, and quantum provides the compute horsepower needed to tackle the world’s most intractable problems.

Three years ago, in discussing AI’s impact, the historical comparison we settled on was the Great Depression, fueled by manufacturing automation, which appeared to be a reasonable analogy. Henry Ford launched his first assembly line in 1913; Watson beat a human on “Jeopardy!” in 2011. These were the comparative touchstones.

At this juncture, we may view that historical comparison as a best-case example and may find mechanization in the early to mid-1800s as a more appropriate parallel. The mid-1800s radically transformed agrarian economies, and that disruptive impact spurred the revolutions of 1848 in Europe and was a contributing economic factor to the U.S. Civil War.

Few conversations today are held without discussing the implications of COVID-19 on our daily lives. Technologists and other pundits talk of the accelerating trends the pandemic triggers. Whether social, business or political trends as we know them, COVID-19 has certainly quickened the rate at which those trends are being felt by virtually everyone around the globe. It is a unique time and highlights the need for career technologists to step forward and participate heavily in the dialogues occurring throughout society on how to remediate the dysfunctional aspects of modern life on which COVID-19 has shined a very bright light.

Public sector entities besides the U.S. federal government bear a disproportionate share of pandemic-related impacts

The predominance of the U.S. federal market is on display in Figure 1 as most of the observed deceleration owes to the diminishing impact of strategic acquisitions made by federal IT vendors prior to 2019 and the sharp slowdown in overall M&A through 1Q20. The latter trend will be exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak as acquisition activity grinds to a near complete halt in conjunction with the turbulence in global capital markets. IT spending by the civilian agencies of international governments was also affected by the pandemic, with some ongoing IT programs furloughed temporarily or indefinitely, while others saw their funding redirected to emergency public health initiatives in response to the outbreak. Buffering these headwinds was the continuance of defense modernization programs, particularly in Europe, Australia and the Middle East, though the negative effects of declining oil prices may impact the latter market.

TBR’s Public Sector IT Services Benchmark compares and contrasts the included vendors’ go-to-market models, recent investments and key deal wins. Additionally, the benchmark reviews a number of key financial performance metrics and highlights vendors that have been particularly successful in expanding market share and improving profitability.

On Earth, the Economy Is Tanking. In the Cloud, It’s Fine

Catie Merrill, who tracks the cloud industry at analyst firm TBR, says all the leading cloud providers will likely splurge on hardware this year. “My sense is that they are going to increase that spend a lot to accommodate new demand,” she says. The trend will likely continue even as countries reopen, she says, because companies that already planned to shift more systems into the cloud are accelerating those plans. — Wired