Top 3 Predictions for Data Center in 2022

Vendors respond to customers’ accelerated IT transformations​

Hardware vendors will race to further entrench themselves in customers’ ecosystems

While storage, hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) and servers are the main products being sold by data center vendors, they are hardly noticeable in the go-to-market messaging that is being pushed out to customers. These vendors are more focused than ever on selling the outcome over the hardware itself,  whether that outcome is building a hybrid cloud environment to serve remote workers or deploying an edge solution on a factory floor. Data center vendors are looking to capture more of their customers’ environment, from managed services to hybrid cloud enablement, to diversify their revenue beyond hardware and create more reliable revenue streams.​

Building ecosystems is at the forefront of data center vendors’ go-to-market strategies to add value and create stickier offerings. This ranges from building management consoles and expanding software capabilities to refining “as a Service” offerings rolled out over the past 18 months. For leading vendors, this is done with an eye toward helping customers reap the same benefits they seek in public cloud alternatives — agility and simplicity — while also providing flexibility and cost control. ​

The road to a more diversified revenue stream is not without hurdles. Customers have already developed preferences for management tools and development platforms from cloud providers and ISVs. Markets like edge compute are complex with customization and industry nuance. Selling subscription models requires sales and delivery transformation for not only vendors but also partners, and a sales strategy that delivers on values that resonate with customers. In 2022 TBR expects to see further proliferation of the journey vendors embarked on in 2021, building out solution portfolios one use case at a time by identifying areas ripe for transformation that also benefit from on-premises hardware.

2022 data center predictions

  • Infrastructure vendors’ “as a Service” offerings will gain traction as the offerings are refined for specific use cases
  • Hardware vendors embrace the ecosystem
  • Vendors will carve out niche specialties under the broad banner of edge compute


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Telecom Business Research’s 2022 Predictions is a special series examining market trends and business changes in key markets. Covered segments include cloud, telecom, devices, data center, and services & digital.

Top 3 Predictions for IT Services in 2022

Sustainability in talent, decarbonization and emerging tech becomes the watchword for IT services

Services is still people, even as compelling new forces like ESG and emerging technologies challenge IT services vendors

Even with a rush of emerging technologies and responses to the pandemic at the forefront of IT services vendors’ strategies and client success stories, the fundamentals of IT services remain rooted in people — in recruiting, training and deploying the right talent to solve IT-related business problems and staff enterprise IT needs. The changes TBR expects in 2022, including new competitors in the war for talent, new opportunities around decarbonization and accelerated adoption of emerging technologies, will not substantially alter IT services vendors’ business models. Differentiation among the vendors, in offerings, capabilities and financial performances, will come more through execution than strategy, at least in the near term. Vendors more adept at pivoting to new revenue streams and more patient with pressured margins will see greater success beyond 2022, provided they are able to adequately navigate talent challenges in the near term.      ​

The vendors that were ahead of the game in 2019 in portfolio and resource expansion around next-generation technology-enabled solutions are experiencing revenue growth improvement in 2021. New growth initiatives, such as around product engineering, supply chain improvement and sustainability, along with steady investments in areas such as hybrid cloud, AI, security, IoT, blockchain and industry-specialized offerings, will continue to expand vendors’ addressable market opportunities and support revenue growth acceleration into 2022. Virtual delivery enables increased productivity but pushes employee utilization to the limits and supports a surge in attrition. Managing talent to market demand, especially as macroeconomic conditions improve and digital exhaustion continues, will be key as IT services vendors strive to ensure service quality requirements are met.​

While the COVID-19 pandemic remains an external factor that can negatively affect IT services spending, subsiding pressures thanks to global vaccine rollouts indicate a potential for continued revenue growth acceleration from the 6% year-to-year revenue growth during the full year 2021 for the 30 vendors in TBR’s IT Services Vendor Benchmark. Moving into 2022, revenues will be driven by a mix of three activities: short-term projects around operational resilience and running businesses; larger transformational engagements that enable clients to improve their business models; and innovation engagements that allow clients to do something completely different — all supported through technology solutions and services.​

2022 IT services predictions

  • Focus on talent management, refined during the pandemic, will recede in a post-pandemic environment
  • The decarbonization shift from promises to actual results opens a massive opportunity for IT services
  • Blockchain winter ends and 5G & edge bloom in 2022, bringing new enhanced revenue streams to IT services


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Telecom Business Research’s 2022 Predictions is a special series examining market trends and business changes in key markets. Covered segments include cloud, telecom, devices, data center, and services & digital.

Top 3 Predictions for Federal IT Services in 2022

Where the money flows, IT services follow

Federal spending priorities shifting to favor civilian agencies

In three areas, the Biden administration’s pivot from defense spending to shoring up civilian agencies will have immediate effects on the federally focused IT services vendors. First, accelerated cloud adoption and new spending bringing cloud to civilian agencies will create partnerships and acquisition opportunities, as well as additional revenue streams. Second, IT services vendors well positioned for that pivot will increase their market share. Third, increased AI, analytics and cybersecurity deployments, supported by new federal dollars flowing to civilian agencies, will further separate federally focused IT services vendors that have built capabilities and talent during the last several years.

Civilian sector IT spending has recovered vigorously from the COVID-19 trough in 2020, thanks to civilian agencies’ ongoing drive to digitize their IT infrastructures, and the shifting budget objectives of the Biden administration will further accelerate civilian IT outlays. Health IT is emerging as a major growth driver on the civilian side, owing to ongoing COVID-19 response initiatives, electronic health record modernization, and IT projects to enhance the interoperability of health IT environments in the federal, state and local government sectors. Even amid the expected deceleration in defense spending, the Pentagon will leverage cloud infrastructures to connect IT platforms for combat operations across service branches, while cloud computing will become essential to transmitting, sorting and analyzing mission data.

Federal systems integrators also have an eye on the transformative technologies and methodologies that are becoming commonplace in the digital modernization of federal IT infrastructures. For example, federal IT services vendors will increasingly utilize low code as they execute cloud implementations, enabling the rapid development and scale-up of cloud-based software tools. Federal IT contractors are also pondering the effects of 5G and quantum on cybersecurity, while upgrading existing mobile and IT communications systems into more open and interoperable networks embedded with AI and analytics technologies.

2022 federal IT services predictions

  • Increased U.S. federal cloud spending upends the IT services market
  • Vendors prepared for flattening defense budgets and accelerated civilian spend will see early gains
  • Investment in advanced digital technologies will accelerate across all federal sectors


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Telecom Business Research’s 2022 Predictions is a special series examining market trends and business changes in key markets. Covered segments include cloud, telecom, devices, data center, and services & digital.

Top 3 Predictions for Cloud Partnerships in 2022

Cloud partnerships go from important to critical in 2022

Ecosystems will become even more tailored to the attributes of cloud in 2022

The shift to partner-led growth is not a new trend, but we expect it to be further legitimized in 2022. Growth from indirect, partner-led revenue streams have been outpacing direct go-to-market efforts for several years, but indirect revenue is reaching a new level of scale and significance in the market. TBR estimates indirect cloud revenue is approaching 25% of the total cloud market opportunity, which is a significant milestone. For reference, in traditional IT and software, indirect revenue represents somewhere between 30% and 40% of revenue streams. We expect the indirect portion of the cloud segment to surpass that level within five years, approaching half of the market opportunity within the next decade. For all cloud vendors, the combination of short-term growth and long-term scale makes partnerships an increasingly critical element of their business strategy.

Partner ecosystems have been a core part of the IT business model for decades, but the developments around cloud will be different for various reasons, primarily because the labor-based, logistical tasks of traditional IT are largely unnecessary in the cloud model. For cloud vendors and their partners to succeed in growing the cloud market, they both need to be focused on enabling business value for the end customer. Traditional custom development becomes cloud solution integration. Outsourcing and hosting are less valuable, while managed services are far more variable for cloud solutions. To capture this growing and sizable opportunity in 2022, we expect companies will adapt their partner business models and vendor program structures to align with vibrant cloud ecosystems.

2022 cloud partnerships predictions

  • Partners enable growth and stickiness
  • Value-add partners in software development and managed services become the focus in 2022
  • Partner activities will be more important that traditional designations

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Telecom Business Research’s 2022 Predictions is a special series examining market trends and business changes in key markets. Covered segments include cloud, telecom, devices, data center, and services & digital.

Informatica returns to the public market with an emphasis on data democratization and hyperscale partnerships

Informatica’s fall 2021 launch, which consisted of a new cloud-native marketplace, automated data quality features and new data scanners, comes alongside the company’s return to the market in an $840 million IPO. The announces offerings, from new services to partner integrations, largely complement the Intelligent Data Management Cloud (IDMC) platform — the key announcement at Informatica World 2021 in April — and align with what is now Informatica’s cloud-first approach to data governance and management. After six years under private ownership and a significant business model shift to subscription-based revenue, which now contributes over 90% of total revenue, Informatica returns to the public eye ready to convince investors it is fully embracing cloud as the operating model required for a successful, data-led business strategy.

Fall 2021 release targets data consumers

Informatica’s new offerings hit the market at a time when distributed workforces continue to be the norm in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and businesses are requiring more and more data to make critical decisions. In addition, a persistent lack of technical skills is weighing on business leaders and pushing them to look to third-party sources, such as marketplaces, to improve data literacy. Informatica hopes to support an underserved audience of citizen analysts and lines of business (LOBs) while staying true to its technical roots by offering developers a new set of automated tools and features.

Announcing Cloud Data Marketplace

One of the key announcements in Informatica’s fall 2021 launch was Cloud Data Marketplace, a one-stop data shop helping to meet the vast demand for a simpler data delivery process. Available as a service within IDMC, Cloud Data Marketplace allows data owners to publish assets from various on-premises and cloud data catalogs and offer analytics, AI and machine learning (ML) models to end users. The one-stop-shop experience is targeted to data consumers, which may include LOB leaders and their key stakeholders looking for packages (AI models and data sets) to support a number of data-driven use cases from price optimization to improved operational efficiency. When marketplace users ask for a data set that best fits their particular need, program administrators have the ability to approve the request and ask for patterns and data usage.

By bridging the gaps between technical specialists and business leaders, Informatica strives to make data more readily accessible across the enterprise. Cloud Data Marketplace will support this strategy by complementing Informatica’s expertise in the early phases of the data pipeline — from data discovery to manipulation — and will place the company’s metadata catalog in front of business leaders.

Ensuring data quality in the cloud

Informatica remains committed to data and analytics governance, leveraging its embedded AI engine CLAIRE to help automate tasks throughout the data process and provide clients with better control over their data. In the fall 2021 launch, Informatica brought many features previously available within legacy Informatica Data Platform (IDP) to IDMC. For instance, Informatica is offering its existing Data Quality tool to enable customers to profile, transform and manage data in the cloud the same way they could with on-premises data. Customers can also leverage natural-language processing (NLP) capabilities in the back end to create rules, such as setting up their own Data Quality and Business Users. Lastly, Informatica is infusing more automation in the platform, eliminating the need to manually create Data Quality tasks, such as applying health checks.  

Informatica reaffirms commitment to cloud partners

To protect its position as a neutral vendor supporting customers regardless of underlying infrastructure or deployment method, Informatica closely aligns itself with leading hyperscalers, offering native integrations with cloud providers’ well-known platform and infrastructure offerings. Expanding on its strategic, multiyear relationship with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Informatica announced it is supporting AWS Graviton, the company’s own processors based on the Arm architecture. This will help Informatica position as a viable integration option for customers looking to run general-purpose workloads as well as compute-intensive applications, such as high-performance computing (HPC), AI and ML. AWS has been emphasizing its Graviton processors for some time, especially as it looks to push out more modern Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instance types to customers and capture more critical workloads.

TBR notes Informatica is early to market as many of AWS’ other data partners and Informatica competitors have yet to offer support for Graviton instances. Further, Informatica introduced application ingestion capabilities, a module under Cloud Mass Ingestion (CMI), to allow customers to ingest and synchronize data from SaaS and on-premises application sources into Cloud Data Warehouses. These capabilities support Informatica’s partner strategy, specifically with vendors like Microsoft, which continues to work with Informatica to move clients’ data warehouses to the cloud. Additional partner announcements in the fall launch included the ability to scan data from Amazon Redshift, Azure Data Factory for cloud ETL (Extract, Transform, Load), and SAP Business Object Data Services into Informatica’s AI-powered data catalog offering.

PwC’s The New Equation: Convening leadership to build trust and drive sustainable outcomes

A strategy to replace Vision 2020 and underline everything with trust  

In October TBR met with PwC’s JC Lapierre, chief strategy and communications leader; Shannon Schuyler, chief purpose and inclusion officer leader; and Joe Atkinson, vice chair and chief products and technology officer. In a wide-ranging discussion that built on previous briefings and TBR’s continued analysis of PwC, TBR questioned the three specifically on The New Equation, PwC’s long-term global strategy announced earlier this year. Among the highlights:

  • PwC hopes that after it has fully executed against The New Equation people will consider the firm to be the most significant conveners of those who can lead and are leading to change.
  • The internal organizational changes for the U.S. firm that are necessary to implement The New Equation started years ago and will continue to be refined, but The New Equation does not merely equal organizational change.
  • The newly launched PwC Trust Leadership Institute may prove to be a significant differentiator at a time when the Big Four firms appear to be increasingly alike.
  • PwC’s approach to technology, even with the advent of PwC Products and tighter alliances with technology giants like Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOGL), remains rooted in people and business challenges; technology alone cannot transform companies and drive sustainable outcomes.
  • Everything circles back to trust, the most raw and simple value driving PwC’s relationships and underpinning the firm’s purpose.

Chapters, playbooks and constructs: Physical images for The New Equation

Using a five-chapter book as a metaphor, PwC’s leaders said the firm’s new global strategy included choices around trust and sustained outcomes, investments to help the firm better serve clients, a rewiring of the organization and how PwC works to better serve its clients, enhancements to the firm’s people experience, and extensions into the larger community — essentially an explicit understanding of the obligations and responsibilities PwC takes on across its entire ecosystem.

Of these five “chapters,” PwC’s leaders explained that the third and fourth — how PwC works and the employee experience — shifted the most from pre-pandemic plans and idea to their current form in The New Equation strategy. In both areas, the realization that “taking care of people” had to be a fundamental aspect of the firm’s larger purpose became clearer when the pandemic focused attention on employee safety, health and well-being.

Top 3 Predictions for Telecom in 2022

Telecom industry faces new challenges in the post-pandemic era

2022 will be a transition year for the telecom industry

After emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic relatively unscathed, the telecom industry is entering a new phase and faces a new set of challenges. These challenges include navigating a supply chain left in shambles due to the impact of the pandemic and, representing a separate concern, the inexorable rise and encroachment of hyperscalers in the telecom domain, which threatens to completely disrupt the status quo in the industry.​

Incumbent communication service providers (CSPs) and their vendors are navigating these issues, but there is an increased urgency to digitally transform and align with structural changes occurring in the industry, such as the pressure to work with hyperscalers on network transformation and business model co-creation in the cloud.​

2022 is poised to be a unique transition year for the telecom industry. While unprecedented government stimulus that originated in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak continues to be pumped into the global economy, lifting all players in some way across the market landscape, CSPs and their vendors must transition to the fundamentally new network architecture, which is software-based, fully virtualized and cloud-centric. CSPs must also determine where they will play in the new value chains that are being created in the digital economy, most notably in hyperscalers’ marketplaces, and in conjunction with new players that are entering the scene in domains such as private networks and satellites.​

Meanwhile, supply chain challenges are expected to persist through 2022, with continuing semiconductor and component shortages as well as ongoing skilled labor deficiencies and shipping delays, all of which threaten to delay market development and hinder vendors’ ability to recognize revenue and pursue new growth opportunities. Inflation (potentially stagflation) and rising interest rates also pose risks, portending margin pressure and debt refinancing challenges.​

Taken together, these circumstances indicate 2022 will be an unusual year for the telecom industry. While government-induced stimulus will provide various benefits to players across the industry, giving off a sense that the industry is functioning normally and is healthy, an acceleration in competitive and technological changes poses a risk to the long-term performance of incumbents. Amid the uncertainty 2022 will bring, one thing is certain: Major changes are coming to the telecom industry in the post-pandemic world, and fast.

2022 telecom predictions

  • Supply-demand imbalance delays pace of 5G market development
  • Hyperscalers scale out edge cloud
  • Government becomes leader in 5G spend among nontelecom verticals


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Telecom Business Research’s 2022 Predictions is a special series examining market trends and business changes in key markets. Covered segments include cloud, telecom, devices, data center, and services & digital.

Big Blue and big government: Enhancing security and co-innovation operations improves IBM’s chances in the U.S. public sector

IBM is strengthening public sector resources in the U.S. to capture modernization opportunities

While the public sector accounts for less than 10% of IBM’s revenue, in TBR’s estimates, IBM is expanding resources in the U.S. to ramp up activities. IBM developed its delivery capabilities for the U.S. federal sector by establishing the IBM Center for Government Cybersecurity in June. The center, part of IBM’s offices in downtown Washington, D.C., will have a secure laboratory space for government clients to jointly develop solutions around advanced security threats leveraging IBM technologies and services. The center will provide access to IBM experts and external advisers, such as former government officials, as well as host workshops around topics such as zero-trust frameworks and cloud security. Clients will also have access to the IBM Research labs to collaborate on encryption solutions. ​

In October IBM opened a new IBM Garage location in Huntsville, Ala., a location designed specifically to support the federal government’s digital transformation and modernization. IBM is enhancing its value proposition by offering government-grade cloud environments, cleared local resources trained on IBM Garage principles and methodology, and thought leaders that will provide services in a hybrid model. In a similar move, Accenture Federal Services opened an innovation space at the University of Alabama in Huntsville’s Invention to Innovation Center in June. Such activities indicate a potential war for talent, especially for industry and technology experts skilled at working with public sector clients.​

A partnership with Raytheon, formed in October, expands IBM’s reach in the aerospace, defense and intelligence, and federal government sectors. IBM and Raytheon will jointly develop AI, cryptographic and quantum solutions. Raytheon is one of several federal aerospace and defense (A&D) contractors teaming with IBM Services to launch MARQTS (Marketplace for Advanced, Rapid, Quantifiably-assured, Trusted Semiconductors), a hybrid cloud-based and blockchain-enabled forum to support the secure development of microelectronics for the commercial industry and the DOD. IBM joins A&D and commercial IT companies Boeing, Cadence, Colvin Run Networks, Intrinsix, Lockheed Martin, Marvell Government Solutions, Nimbis Services Inc., Northrop Grumman and PDF Solutions. MARQTS will be available to the U.S. defense sector by 2023. IBM will use a proprietary cloud platform developed to enable secure collaboration for the group, while the platform will reside on an IBM blockchain to enhance security. IBM expects to roll out MARQTS across the DOD by 2023.

According to TBR’s 2Q21 Public Sector IT Services Benchmark, “The appetite for digital modernization by agencies of the U.S. federal government remains strong, as evidenced not only by record revenue and backlog levels reported by many federal technology contractors in 2Q21 but also by the robust level and velocity of proposal submissions tendered by federal IT vendors. Commercial technology adoption is red hot in federal IT, particularly around cloud computing, where TBR observed a significant uptick in efforts by multiple contractors during 2Q21 to shore up collaborations with the leading commercial cloud leaders.”

Senior Analyst John Caucis, who leads TBR’s Public Sector IT Services research, notes, “The federal civilian sector has recovered vigorously from the COVID-19 trough a year ago, thanks to civilian agencies’ ongoing drive to digitize their IT infrastructures. Cyber budgets are also growing, reflecting federal agencies’ strong will to secure their data and IT systems from the ever-growing barrage of cyber threats. AI is increasingly permeating security, intelligence gathering and analysis, the burgeoning space sector, and citizen services, cementing AI as a critical technology to drive mission success and driving AI leaders like Booz Allen Hamilton to accelerate the time to market of new AI technologies.”

The content above draws heavily from TBR’s most recent quarterly analysis of IBM’s services business. Contact the author at [email protected] for additional insight and information. 

EY remakes the innovation space

From process to people to place, EY has crafted something unique

Every consultancy has its own process for digital transformation: a mix of design thinking, agile methodologies and sprints, usually starting with a business problem and resulting in application of a new technology-enabled solution (i.e., the “digital” in digital transformation). And nearly every consultancy and IT services vendor brags of end-to-end capabilities, from identifying the business issues to implementing a solution. EY’s Innovation Hub at Nottingham Spirk, however, does something: It actually delivers on that promise.

EY and Nottingham Spirk’s immersive process (enabled by wavespace), honed pre-pandemic and deployed throughout with virtual sessions, unpacks clients’ most intractable business problems and identifies potential pathways to resolving those issues, taking into account change management, technology enhancements and business model implications. Where a wavespace team — or similar group at a peer’s innovation and transformation center — would then hand off the client for the next steps, including innovation around technology changes and minimum viable products, in Cleveland the EY wavespace team simply walks the client downstairs to the Innovation Hub, where the next steps in the process begin immediately. And when the client’s needs include any kind of physical construction or prototyping, the rest of the Nottingham Spirk facility comes into play.

Critically, EY and Nottingham Spirk include every human professional involved in the process at every point in the process. A Nottingham Spirk designer and a Microsoft-certified developer participate in the wavespace engagement at the start, and the wavespace consultants follow the client through their entire journey, bringing life to “end-to-end.” In TBR’s view, combining the innovation process with the technological and physical capabilities of EY and Nottingham Spirk and capturing everything — and everyone — under one roof portends a sea change in how innovation and transformation centers will be run going forward. 

While extending innovation from business challenge consulting sessions into implementation of technology and physical solutions requires a commitment from EY firm leadership and business model shift for EY, the physical space EY and Nottingham Spirk have created warrants attention as a blueprint for future center construction.

Nottingham Spirk contains a maker’s dream space, with the tools, equipment and supplies to craft and test virtually anything. The main floors boast product engineering labs and countless examples of previous work taken from idea to commercialization. Attached to Nottingham Spirk’s manufacturing innovation paradise, EY built an IT innovation hub, outfitted with the latest tools from partners like Microsoft, SAP, Nokia and PTC, and key contributors such as GE Digital, PROS, Simio, and Blue Yonder. On the second floor of the innovation hub, EY’s latest wavespace offers room for large discussions or more intimate problem-solving sessions. Literally atop a hill and graced with a belltower, the facility allows clients, partners and employees to feel adequately physically removed from day-to-day concerns and fully focused on innovation. A visit to the Cleveland facility reinforces TBR’s view that innovation and transformation centers benefit from being physically separated from the vendor’s home offices.

EY-Nottingham Spirk Innovation Hub: To mark the opening of its first Innovation Hub and latest wavespace location, as well as its partnership with Nottingham Spirk, EY hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and daylong event for local civic and business leaders, clients in the manufacturing space, and technology partners. TBR attended and spoke with EY leaders, attendees from EY’s technology partners, and multiple EY professionals, including Jerry Gootee, EY Global Advanced Manufacturing Leader (and EY-Nottingham Spirk Innovation Hub visionary); Greg Sarafin, EY Global Alliance and Ecosystem Leader; John Nottingham, Nottingham Spirk Co-Founder and Co-CEO; and Regan Grant, EY Global Advanced Manufacturing & Mobility Marketing Leader.

2022 Expectations: Insights from TBR’s Professional Services team

2021 featured accelerated changes in digital transformation, IT services and consulting markets that led TBR to reevaluate its coverage of these spaces. Going into 2022, we will be diving deep into new research streams and established areas. Join Practice Manager and Principal Analyst Patrick Heffernan and TBR’s entire Professional Services team for a free-wheeling discussion of all things professional services and expectations for the coming years.

Register today to reserve your space

TBR webinars are held typically on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. ET and include a 15-minute Q&A session 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].