Innovative Ecosystem Expansion: Leveraging Tech Startups for Sustainable Growth in IT Services

Ecosystem expansion

As vendors across both the IT services and management consulting spaces recognize the need to innovate more quickly than in previous years to stay ahead of technology trends and peers, companies are investing in their partner ecosystems. To evolve the ecosystems, vendors look to include a more diverse set of firms and companies such as technology startups, academic research institutions and other universities. Integrating technology startups within the ecosystem allows vendors to deepen their expertise and capabilities tied to niche technology areas while also building attached services for larger-scale platforms. As vendors sprinkle partners’ expertise and technology capabilities across their portfolio offerings, their ability to deliver value for clients will improve.

Strategic Synergy: Unleashing Innovation through Startup Partnerships – A Case Study with HCLTech and the Intel Foundry Services Accelerator

Working with technology startups enhances vendors’ core capabilities, helping them evolve their portfolio offerings and deliver additional value for clients. For example, in May 2023 HCLTech joined the Intel Foundry Services Accelerator. Through the partnership, HCLTech will support product development around chip manufacturing and will combine its experience with that of integrated device and fabless manufacturers, IP vendors, foundries and semiconductor equipment providers. The partnership aligns well with HCLTech’s engineering and R&D expertise as well as its manufacturing depth, embedding newer design techniques and products to orient more closely with clients’ transformation needs.


Forging partnerships with technology startups that facilitate growth of core areas enables vendors to drive more value across their portfolios with the infusion of digital and analytics capabilities. Additionally, the expansions and enhancements help vendors evolve their businesses to stay ahead of peers and remain aligned with clients’ needs.


Maintaining a diverse set of vendors and firms across ecosystems enables IT services vendors to develop portfolio offerings and expertise that address challenges across clients’ business and operating environments. For example, as clients’ sustainability needs continue to emerge, spanning reporting, business processes, operations and change management, working with sustainability firms and startups will help vendors gain expertise, enabling them to transform internally and to better assist clients. For example, Fujitsu partnered with Anthesis to help clients reach carbon neutrality. Through the partnership, Fujitsu will look to create an intelligent climate planning tool that includes strategy development and implementation.


Working closely with partners to drive innovation and integrate newly gained expertise across their portfolio offerings will guide vendors’ alliance and partner strategies during 2H23 and through 2024. Vendors need to expand their ecosystems to include technology startups and research academia to successfully drive collaboration with partners and clients, remain ahead of trends and evolve portfolio offerings.