Top 3 Predictions for Professional Services (IT Services Vendors) in 2023

Update: Download your free copy of TBR’s Top Professional Services Predictions for 2024 special report, IT Services and Consulting in 2024: Traversing GenAI Pressures, Talent Challenges, and Regulatory Waves

Transparency, consistency and quality:
3 watchwords for 2023

Top 3 predictions for IT Professional Services in 2023

  1. Enough with the data lakes and process automation — give me ROI
  2. IT services providers’ toil and trouble wILL not alter clients’ buying behaviors, but will disturb alliances
  3. the talent war grinds on, even as employee experience loses its luster

After all the emerging tech hype, just bring the best IT services people and consultants, every time, at a fair price

After years of IT services vendors and their technology partners telling clients (and analysts) that “data is the new oil” and that “every company is a technology company,” we are finally reaching a tipping point at which vendors cannot sell the promise of data but need to sell the results. Clients expect returns on their investments in digital transformation, analytics and cloud, pushing IT services vendors to deliver more transparently, with more consistency and at a higher quality.

Promises around the benefits of leveraging analytics and cloud no longer meet clients’ demands for clear, tangible outcomes delivered through transparent engagements. IT services vendors must demonstrate upfront the business cases for emerging technologies and then deliver results. Vendors that invested in core services competencies, such as operational excellence and managed services, and in technology skills will continue to grow revenues, even if the global economy slows.

IT services vendors and consultancies undergoing organization changes — from branding to P&L to complete splits — must assure their clients they can meet their delivery commitments. Clients’ needs and demands will continue apace, without regard to internal machinations by leaders at IT services vendors and consultancies. Competitors’ upheavals may provide some new openings for opportunistic and nimble players, but the overall picture remains simple: Clients’ IT spending will not disappear, and they will continue to look for vendors and firms that can consistently deliver.

Quality depends almost completely on people. Even as IT services vendors implement automation tools and management consultancies dabble in SaaS offerings, talent management remains the critical component to running an IT services or consulting business. And as individual vendors and firms win battles in the war for talent, the overall shifts will come from balancing increasing demands for highly skilled talent with business models that reward scale at the right locations.

Transparency, consistency and quality are hardly earthquake-like trends across the IT services and consulting space, but they will be the markers of successful vendors and firms through 2023.

TBR’s 2023 Predictions is a special series examining market trends and business changes in key markets. Covered segments include cloud & software, devices, digital transformation, IT infrastructure, professional services, federal IT services and telecom.