COVID-19 reveals true colors of creative advisory services

Regardless of whether the pandemic lingers, re-emerges with a greater power in the fall or significantly subsides, TBR expects management consultancies will benefit from opportunities created by the chaos of COVID-19 as vendors address clients’ tactical run-the-business needs and expand activities around digital workplace, change management, HR and supply chain operations. Vendors with greater scale, more established technology-centric brands, and deeper partnerships with cloud and software providers will weather the crisis and alleviate pressures on front-end management consulting by price-conscious clients that demand flexible payment terms. Meanwhile, the need for customer experience (CX)-centric workshops remains in flux, as what was the go-to-market approach just over nine months ago is now being recalibrated to account for limited physical and in-person sessions, impacting many of leading vendors’ design-led creative services performances.

Join Patrick HeffernanBoz HristovElitsa Bakalova and Kelly Lesiczka as they reveal key findings around leading management consulting vendors’ performance as well as how investments in marketing and creative services many of these vendors have pursued over the past five years are now playing out.

Don’t miss:

  • How major management consulting vendors performed during the first nine months of 2020
  • What the key trends are in the management consulting segments
  • How demand for CX-centric advisory sessions went from boom to bust and if it will come back in 2021

Amid the pandemic, new offerings and new footprints for IT services vendors

As the COVID-19 pandemic upended every business, some IT services vendors looked for new opportunities to address clients’ rapidly changing business and technology needs, including adjustments to massive-scale remote working and heightened cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Internally, a number of IT services vendors reacted to the pandemic by examining their own global headcount and sourcing resources needed to deliver services. TBR’s various special reports on products and offerings developed specifically to address pandemic-related challenges and a few changes in vendors’ global footprints provide the background for understanding marketwide trends and anticipating changes coming in 2021. 

Join Patrick Heffernan and Kelly Lesiczka as they detail a few of the most notable new pandemic-sparked products and offerings and then examine the larger trends among vendors’ responses to COVID-19, including recent and expected shifts in global staffing.

Don’t miss:

  • Which IT services vendors and consultancies came to market fastest with solutions specific to COVID-19
  • What portfolio and talent trends started during the pandemic are most likely to be sustained through 2021
  • How global staffing for IT services will change in the near term, and which countries might see a boost in IT services-related jobs

Connectivity will be ‘free’

The connectivity business model is poised to fundamentally change during the 5G era, and the telecom industry might see and will need to be prepared for a world where selling metered data access is no longer viable. New models have emerged, driven by the webscales, that portend a world where consumer network access could become “free” or close to free. Historical precedence and future context will be provided demonstrating that this radical change could indeed be feasible and that the market has a high probability of ultimately going in this direction during this decade.

Join Principal Analyst Chris Antlitz for an in-depth, exclusive review of TBR’s most recent Webscale ICT Market Landscape where he will discuss how webscales’ digital-first, platform-centric model can create a fundamentally new industrial framework for providing “free” connectivity in an economically feasible manner.

TBR’s Webscale ICT Market Landscape focuses on the nine webscales (aka the Big Nine) that TBR believes will own the largest, most comprehensive end-to-end digital ecosystems in the digital era. Specifically, this list includes Alibaba, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Baidu, Facebook, Microsoft, Rakuten and Tencent. The report includes key findings, market size, customer adoption, webscale positioning and strategies, geographic adoption, vendor positioning and strategies, and acquisition and alliance strategies and opportunities.

Don’t miss:

  • Which webscales are likely to drive this move toward “free” connectivity
  • How webscales will make money from “free” connectivity
  • What will happen to traditional operators amid this coming market disruption

PC status report: PCs reach a turning point

Join Ezra Gottheil and Eric Costa for a presentation on the PC market’s “interesting year” of 2020, where demand skyrocketed as more people used more PCs for more purposes than ever before. TBR believes the pandemic positively disrupted the PC market, giving the total available market a boost that will endure past the end of the crisis. However, the market will be largely saturated going into a year of recession.

Don’t miss:

  • How PC use and the perception of PCs have changed, and what the long-term implications are for vendors
  • How the changes are affecting Device as a Service (DaaS), PC management, and the relationship between users and vendors
  • How the major vendors are responding to a disrupted PC market

How COVID-19 did and will forever change cloud

Join Allan KransEvan Woollacott and Catie Merrill for a review of COVID-19’s impact on the cloud market so far and a look forward at the long-term impacts. This discussion will provide insight on the challenges and opportunities in the cloud market, and which vendors we believe are best positioned to address them.

Don’t miss:

  • A review of how the cloud market overall and leading vendors in particular have fared in 2020  
  • Analysis of feedback from customers on how their use of cloud solutions is changing  
  • A forecast of how cloud’s long-term growth and use will change through 2024  

Trends in capturing tailored data and insights for technology business leaders

Join Bryan Belanger and key members of TBR’s Tailored Services team as they discuss the shifting nature of the key questions technology business leaders ask them to address in their custom projects. Tailored Services regularly engages with decision makers working across all segments of the technology industry covered by TBR’s practice areas to conduct competitive and customer analysis that is used to help vendors benchmark performance and identify portfolio, go-to-market and commercial strategies to pursue business goals.

Don’t miss:

  • What topics have been most asked about in Tailored Services this year, and what’s expected for the future
  • How projects in competitive intelligence, customer intelligence and financial modeling are being structured by TBR and vendor clients for optimal insights and in response to changing market conditions
  • How research methodologies and approaches shift in capturing tailored data and insights in this rapidly evolving, highly disruptive industry

Digital transformation during the COVID-19 pandemic

As the global pandemic persists, vendors prioritize employee safety while increasingly looking to employee productivity measures. Retaining clients and securing a larger piece of a shrinking budgetary pie are IT services vendors’ primary concerns with respect to clients as the pandemic depresses economic activity. Attracting and landing new logos has become vastly more difficult in an all-virtual environment, challenging IT services vendors to develop novel ways to promote new offerings. The COVID-19 outbreak is shifting buyers’ priorities, compelling digital transformation (DT) services vendors to reframe their DT messaging to focus more on individual business functions than the reinvention of the full enterprise, creating a niche for emerging technologies such as AR and VR that can not only augment the existing technology stack but also help change how humans and machines interact in certain industries and processes. At the same time, DT opportunities centered on speed, connectivity and reliability help elevate 5G’s position in the crowded emerging tech market, but only if vendors can demonstrate the ecosystem will remain navigable.

Join Patrick HeffernanBoz HristovElitsa Bakalova and Kelly Lesiczka as they reveal key findings around leading IT services vendors’ performance during the pandemic as well as how adding new technologies such as 5G, AR and VR creates an additional entry point for vendors to cross-sell and upsell their service portfolios.

Don’t miss:

  • How major IT services vendors performed during the first nine months of 2020
  • What the key trends are in the IT services segments, and what levers vendors use to succeed in a challenging market environment
  • How IT services vendors are preparing to capture opportunities enabled by the new wave of emerging technologies

Technology Business Research, Inc. announces 4Q20 webinar schedule

HAMPTON, N.H. (Sept. 9, 2020) — Technology Business Research, Inc. (TBR) announces the schedule for its 4Q20 webinar series.

Oct. 14         Digital transformation during the COVID-19 pandemic

Oct. 21         Trends in capturing tailored data and insights for technology business leaders

Oct. 28         How COVID-19 did and will forever change cloud

Nov. 4          PC status report: PCs reach a turning point

Nov. 11        Connectivity will be ‘free’

Nov. 18        Niche enterprise edge vendors disrupt the enterprise edge compute market

Dec. 2           Amid the pandemic, new offerings and new footprints for IT services vendors

Dec. 9           COVID-19 reveals true colors of creative advisory services

Dec. 16        Middleware: The quantum computing differentiator

TBR webinars are held typically each Wednesday at 1 p.m. EDT and include a 15-minute Q&A following the main presentation. Previous webinars can be viewed anytime on TBR’s Webinar Portal.

For additional information or to arrange a briefing with our analysts, please contact TBR at [email protected].

Know-your-tech strategy could be invaluable as Logicalis aims to disrupt peers in cloud managed services market

TBR perspective

Logicalis’ efforts to optimize its legacy operations while doubling down on key growth areas such as cloud will largely depend on the company’s ability to develop integrated scale to ensure standardized service delivery. Evolving portfolio offerings, including the launch of its Digital Service Platform (DSP), paired with strengthening partner ecosystem relationships, will allow Logicalis to appeal to a broader buyer base and potentially disrupt the engagement model services companies are typically known for by offering digital routes to its services catalog. TBR believes this approach will be particularly applicable as COVID-19 pressures high-touch consulting services. Logicalis’ global scale is just the right size to test such a strategy as the company maintains a diverse mix of midmarket and enterprise clients. While the former group is the prime target for selling and supporting services through a click-to-buy model, many cost-conscious buyers from the latter group are also seeking ways to minimize external spend, providing Logicalis with a strong test bed for its customer experience model. Logicalis is not looking to change its DNA but rather to blend the best of both worlds with minimal disruption — adopting a software company-like sales strategy while maintaining human-delivered, automation-enabled services support to drive recurring (e.g., “as a Service”) revenue at scale. We recognize that this is easier said than done, but at least the company’s leadership appears to have their priorities aligned, which is a good place to start.

Logicalis will rely on strong customer service and repeatable IP to reshuffle the composition of its P&L toward more profitable recurring revenue opportunities

After only two weeks on the job as CEO, Robert Bailkoski, like many of his peers, had to address the global threat COVID-19 posed to the company’s operations, employees and clients. Bailkoski’s tenure with the company as CFO and later as COO had prepared him (as much as anyone could be prepared for a pandemic) not only to handle the situation with minimal disruption but also to ensure he stayed the course on many of the priorities he had set prior to becoming CEO. With Logicalis’ performance deeply rooted in selling both hardware and software products, which combined currently generate about 60% of company’s global revenue, Bailkoski knew he had an uphill battle as these areas are becoming largely commoditized and thus pressuring the company’s top and bottom lines.

In a recent conversation with Robert Bailkoski, Logicalis Group’s newly appointed CEO, as well as Vince DeLuca, Logicalis Group’s customer experience & service transformation officer, TBR had a chance to hear firsthand about the company’s goals and investments as it continues its journey to become a globally integrated solutions provider. TBR appreciated Bailkoski’s and DeLuca’s grounded approach to the company’s transformation, which is not something many newly appointed executives pursue as they often seek to create a name for themselves by making fundamental changes. We believe both Bailkoski’s and DeLuca’s tenure and understanding of the company have provided them with good visibility into Logicalis’ strengths and weakness and a sense of accountability needed to reach the company’s goals.

PwC’s Saratoga, diversity and inclusion challenges amid the shifting landscape of HR management

Beer carts do not lead to promotions  

Prior to the pandemic, companies across all industries marketed their diversity and inclusion scores, rankings and awards, demonstrating to clients, investors and potential recruits their efforts in this area and good corporate citizenship. Combine fewer marketing opportunities with increased scrutiny of what exactly well-run diversity and inclusion programs look like, and the human resources space has become ripe for the same kinds of disruption and digital transformation running through every aspect of large enterprises. In this environment, PwC noted three critical aspects of the current HR landscape.

First, data-focused companies adopt enterprise-changing diversity and inclusion initiatives more rapidly and successfully than companies that continue to focus on softer, less quantifiable actions, such as Friday afternoon beer carts and magazine awards for diversity.

Second, the challenges, risks and opportunities around diversity and inclusion have now reached the senior-most levels at most companies, with issues elevated even beyond the chief human resources officer (as noted in this story, which aired Aug. 17, 2020, on the WBUR radio station in Boston), in addition to being passed to line-of-business leaders and finance and risk officers, all of whom recognize that diversity and inclusion impacts all aspects of the enterprise, including the bottom line.

Third, promotion rates, turnover, performance and hiring remain the biggest and most significant gap for enterprises attempting to assess their performance around diversity and inclusion. Jeffords spoke at length on the challenges of moving minds to accept that awards and external recognition meaningfully address challenges uncovered by examining promotion rates. Most leaders, according to PwC, do not know the data on their own promotion rates nor the benchmarks for top-performing peers. For PwC, the time is ripe for tackling all three of these critical aspects.   

An established tool, Saratoga complements HR consulting

As a well-established product, the Saratoga performs a foundational, yet essential, service for PwC’s clients. Starting with data ingestion and leading to industry comparisons and trends, PwC helps clients understand which internal human resource management levers they can pull to make changes across their organizations. PwC provides fundamental consulting work, with benchmarks and recommendations, backed by massive amounts of client data as well as data PwC has collected from peers over many years.

Following up on our assessment of the newly launched PwC Products, TBR met virtually with two PwC partners to discuss the firm’s Saratoga offering, a long-held human resources management tool that has found renewed importance for enhancing diversity and inclusion efforts within PwC’s clients. Two partners from PwC’s Organization and Workforce Transformation practice — Pam Jeffords, Diversity and Inclusion, and Scott Pollak, People Analytics — along with Michelle Gorman, a marketing director, briefed TBR on trends within HR, especially around diversity and inclusion, and the specifics of the Saratoga product before pivoting to a discussion on the future of diversity efforts across PwC and its clients. This special report reflects the discussion, as well as previous TBR analysis of PwC and the management consulting space.