Product Innovation – How IT Service Vendors are Leveraging Competitive Intelligence

IT services vendors are ramping up innovation efforts and bringing in new expertise and resources experience to address emerging needs as client demand reflects a stronger emphasis on software and efficiency solutions. To effectively drive innovation across organizations, vendors are embracing a new culture and different business orientation, investing in talent and reskilling, and creating a broad ecosystem of partners.

Strategic Business Shift: Embracing Emerging Technologies

Over the last few years, IT services vendors have transitioned away from traditional business orientations and are adjusting their operations and portfolio development to focus more on emerging technologies and solutions. While keeping traditional business services, vendors are incorporating expertise and offerings around emerging technologies, including cloud, IoT, security and analytics.
 
For example, to drive innovation, HCLTech transitioned its business model from traditional services to include digital, IoT and cloud solutions, initially with the establishment of the company’s Mode 1-2-3 strategy, which helped it pursue emerging technology engagements as well as product and platform adoption. The strategy was successful in helping HCLTech build out its emerging technology solutions alongside its traditional services, which evolved into a comprehensive portfolio mix across digital, engineering, cloud, AI and software that powers the company’s digital transformation projects.
 
Similarly, PwC introduced PwC Products as a way to bring internally developed software and IP directly to the company’s clients, even to the point of launching a click-to-buy option. The change in portfolio driven by innovation also requires investment in talent and culture to facilitate innovation.
 

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Cultivating Innovation: IT Services Vendors Prioritize Talent Investment and Cultural Evolution for Success in the Digital Era

To uphold innovation projects, IT services vendors invest in talent and look to evolve culture through improved training programs and additional resources for collaboration. Vendors have invested in upskilling for digital capabilities to support internal ideas as well as the integration and delivery of emerging solutions. IT services vendors such as Accenture, McKinsey & Co. and PwC have increased training hours per employee to help further strengthen their innovation resources.
 
Over the last decade, TBR has repeatedly heard about consultancies’ digital training tools and programs, which are intended to make technologists out of business school majors. Similarly, large IT services vendors have pivoted from one emerging tech to another, staying just steps ahead of their clients.
 
In addition to skills development, IT services vendors embrace existing skills across their organizations in an effort to gather insights and opportunities around new capabilities. PwC leverages its partners and staff for The Solvers Challenge, a program that invites talent to solve challenges in areas such as environment, workforce, transformation and cyber, and risk and regulation. Through the program, PwC benefits from new ideas and solutions that help propel the firm’s strategy.

Strategic Alliances and Ecosystems: IT Services Vendors Forge Collaborative Partnerships to Drive Innovation and Market Expansion

Partners also work with IT services vendors to support innovation and pursue new go-to-market opportunities. Creating ecosystems of research academia, startups, hyperscalers, and specialized technology and industry vendors brings in new expertise to help vendors develop their portfolios and build out scale around emerging technologies. As vendors look to incorporate revenue goals tied to partnerships, IT services vendors will target partnerships at industry solutions that drive additional value for clients through specialized offerings.

Conclusion

To effectively drive innovation across organizations, IT services vendors create expansive partnership ecosystems, bringing in specialized capabilities and experience across different industries. Additionally, a focus on talent, including reskilling and upskilling, integrates new resources that can drive opportunities in underpenetrated areas with a refreshed portfolio and sales approach paired with new solutions. Lastly, refreshing the business reorientation supports the connection with clients, helping to successfully create and foster an innovation-centric culture.