India-centric professional services firms jockey for position in the digital world

Position as trusted advisers for enterprise customers’ modernization efforts

Technology specialists such as Salesforce and ServiceNow recognized the need of enterprises to have a trusted adviser for their modernization efforts and re-geared their service teams to capitalize on this opportunity. For instance, by verticalizing its service teams, Salesforce now provides industry-specific services to customers modernizing their infrastructure, architecting its portfolio against customers’ needs. While addressing customer needs around deploying Tier 1 provider solutions is critical to professional service firms, partnering with smaller technology specialists such as Tableau, Intuit and Epicor that lack the resources to become trusted advisers to prospective customers creates an avenue for growth in the digital realm. Within the applications space in particular, this represents a significant partner opportunity for professional service firms aiming to root themselves in the enterprise C-Suite undergoing digital transformation.

Where will tomorrow’s Greenfield opportunities exist?

The software-driven world has rapidly accelerated the presence of next-generation technologies in customer IT environments. Having software-defined architectures — from AI to blockchain — accelerates time-to-market for next-generation solutions. TBR believes this is especially true with containerized applications that technology vendors are increasingly targeting, evidenced by IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat for $34 billion, and VMware’s recent acquisition of Heptio.

However, rising adoption of hybrid architectures creates additional challenges for customers seeking to deploy containerized applications, as they must ensure the compatibility of on- and off-premises IT infrastructure with containers. This challenge has given rise to managed services around solutions like Kubernetes, with Platform9 announcing the first fully managed service for Kubernetes on VMware infrastructure in February 2019. TBR believes professional service firms that can foster relationships with various open-source container groups, or leading vendors like Red Hat, will be well positioned to work with enterprise customers seeking to deploy the solutions.

To date, India-centric services firms such as Cognizant, HCLT and Infosys have reference architectures, DevOps and advisory services related to leading containerized application frameworks, such as Kubernetes. While these services help educate prospective customers on the benefits of containers, TBR believes that without skilled headcount, such as senior DevOps application engineers, India-centric services firms risk missing out on the opportunity to partner with technology specialists with robust service teams like Microsoft and Google that are better positioned to guide prospective customers through deployments of emerging technology on their infrastructure. 

TBR reports quarterly on five India-centric IT services giants and includes analysis of their strategies and performances in the quarterly IT Services Vendor Benchmark. This special scenario has been drawn from and complements the most recent reports on these vendors. For further questions, see the TBR team.

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