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Vendors pursue tactical run-the-business engagements to help clients react to COVID-19 and maintain operations

Management consulting market summary

Outlook

The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to pressure discretionary spending and challenge vendors’ interactions with clients due to social distancing and travel restrictions. The vendors that will succeed are the ones that immediately adjusted their portfolios and service delivery models to accommodate clients’ pandemic-related run-the-business challenges and are now looking ahead to provide services to support clients in the post-pandemic world. TBR expects vendors to master the hybrid engagement model, navigate more smartly through the technology alliance ecosystem, deliver digital transformations and expand activities around decarbonization to recover ground lost in 2020.

Changes

Hybrid sales and service delivery, in which consultancies interact with clients both virtually and face-to-face, existed before the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the world in 2020; however, the dramatic difference from pre-pandemic days is the universal acceptance that hybrid engagements are a necessary and valuable way to conduct business. Vendors are now more adept at delivering services in person and remotely and have made collaborative technologies a natural extension of the job. Clients now receive services and adapt to different ways of working, recognizing that value in a services relationship can be sustained without face-to-face encounters. In 2021 IT services vendors and management consultancies that perfect the hybrid engagement model will outperform peers and accelerate consolidation across the IT ecosystem.

Market overview

TBR expects benchmarked vendors in the management consulting segment to increase revenue 0.9% year-to-year in 2020, a growth trend that will continue to surpass that of benchmarked IT services vendors in TBR’s IT Services Vendor Benchmark, which we expect to decrease 1.7% year-to-year in 2020. The Big Four vendor group will remain the largest revenue contributor at 55.2% of benchmarked revenue in 2020; however, strategy-led vendors will increase their market share by 50 basis points year-to-year to 28.6%. Solutions-led companies, the Big Four and strategy-led firms are all expanding their technology capabilities, intellectual property assets and managed services capabilities to address clients’ run-the-business needs with holistic capabilities.

Total Benchmarked Management Consulting Revenue 2015-2020E

The Management Consulting Benchmark provides key service line, regional, vertical and operational data and analysis for 13 leading management consulting firms. The research program also includes a deep dive into 11 vendors’ management consulting business strategies as well as SWOT analysis.

Technology Business Research announces 2021 Predictions webinar schedule

Technology Business Research, Inc. (TBR) announces the schedule for its 2021 Predictions webinar series. 2021 Predictions is a special series examining market trends and business changes in key markets. Covered segments include telecom, cloud, devices & commercial IoT, data center, and services & digital.

Jan. 6            COVID-19 changes everything: What’s next for devices and IoT?

Jan. 13         2021 will bring more demand, more partnerships and more industry innovation to cloud

Jan. 20         Hybrid, ecosystems and industry clouds shape the future for consulting, IT services and digital transformation

Jan. 27         CSPs face brave new world in 2021

Feb. 3           COVID-19 necessitates data center investments, becoming a catalyst for digital transformation

TBR webinars are held typically each Wednesday at 1 p.m. EDT and include a 15-minute Q&A 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].

COVID-19 necessitates data center investments, becoming a catalyst for digital transformation

COVID-19 shifts data center market demands as customers leverage the cloud to meet swift transformation needs

In 2020 IT decision makers around the world moved into highly reactive and tactical modes to mitigate COVID-19’s impact on their businesses, and data centers had to be provisioned rapidly for remote activities across all elements of the business stack, including IT. Although businesses’ initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic boosted certain on-premises provisioning, it also delayed large, services-laden transformation engagements. Economic uncertainty and uneven industry sector impact also saw some IT instances pivot to cash conservation. IT infrastructure vendors held strong against the murky IT backdrop, although some business shifted to ODMs more aligned to serving exascale cloud companies at the expense of more traditional or legacy technologies.

TBR believes this trend will continue through 2021. COVID-19 accelerated existing macro trends toward cloud-delivered technologies leveraging automation to strip away person-to-person contact from commerce. AI and machine learning (ML) will pull infrastructure along and push infrastructure deployments further to the edge.

Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is the multifunctional building block for a lot of IT instances. HCI can sit at the ever-growing edge or in departmental or branch office data centers, and it can be used for modular scaling of private cloud deployments whether on premises or in colocation facilities. HCI growth, coupled with further cloud migration, pressures legacy and more traditional IT infrastructure. 

AI growth persists. Definition increases as emerging technologies become applicable to general use. Vendors and customers alike seek AI automation to strip labor’s hollow calories from all elements of business commerce and IT support. All these aspirations hinge on tight data governance rules and human compliance with those rules when putting data into the automation engine. That tight wrapper for consistent, shared information flows can be achieved through blockchain, described by EY Blockchain Head Paul Brody as the ERP equivalent for multienterprise business networks. 

This vision of the digital world also acknowledges the need for a new data engine to analyze the data and derive new insights to advance all elements of human existence. Quantum computing will be that new engine, and its performance will be to classical computing what the jet plane was to propeller airplanes. TBR expects 2021 to be a year with significant discoveries that push quantum computing further down the path to economic advantage. If deep scientific thought and “what if” analysis happen only when the world’s greatest minds can pursue their natural inquisitiveness, then it could be that COVID-19 generates the requisite science necessary for quantum computing to shift from discovery to emerging commercial application.

2021 data center predictions

  • Investments in 1H20 to modernize IT to meet COVID-19 requirements will lead to reduced data center hardware spend in 2021
  • Quantum computing advancements will persist, leading to an increase in M&A activity to consolidate capabilities
  • COVID-19 increases the presence of HCI in modern data centers

Technology Business Research 2021 Predictions is a special series examining market trends and business changes in key markets. Covered segments include cloud & software, telecom, devices & commercial IoT, data center, and services & digital.

COVID-19 changes everything: What’s next for devices and IoT?

The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated some trends and slowed others. In IoT, the emphasis has shifted to a more strategic approach to achieve greater resilience and transparency, while projects largely aimed at increasing operational efficiency have be put on the backburner. At the same time, the crisis has accelerated a maturation in customer organizations that makes it easier to build IoT into digital transformation strategies. In devices, especially in PCs, the 2020 surge in consumer demand will be followed, TBR believes, by market saturation, reducing revenue and driving down margins.

Don’t miss:

  • The new division of labor in IoT customer organizations     
  • Specialized packages and bundles simplify vendors’ go-to-market strategies
  • How the increased PC total addressable market will affect the near-term PC market

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, Jan. 6, at 1 p.m. EST,
and REGISTER 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].

COVID-19 necessitates data center investments, becoming a catalyst for digital transformation

Like the rest of the world, IT decision makers have been moving into a highly reactive and tactical mode in 2020 to mitigate COVID-19’s impact on the businesses they underpin. TBR believes the ripple effect of these decisions will continue through 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated macro trends toward cloud technologies that leverage automation to reduce person-to-person contact in economic commerce. AI and machine learning will pull infrastructure along and similarly push the infrastructure deployments further to the edge, while reinforcing the need for investment in emerging technologies to solve pain points that existing technologies cannot address.​

Join Stephanie Long and Geoff Woollacott as they dive into the impacts of COVID-19 on the data center market thus far and how they predict the impacts will evolve during 2021.

Don’t miss:

  • How 1H20 investments in modernizing the data center to meet COVID-19 mandates will reduce data center hardware spend in 2021
  • COVID-19 increases the need for edge deployments
  • Quantum computing advancements persist, leading to an increase in M&A activity to consolidate capabilities

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, at 1 p.m. EST,
and REGISTER 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].

HPE continues to evolve technical solutions for a dispersed workforce

HPE’s VDI portfolio is not new but is increasingly valuable to its customers as remote work looks like a more permanent situation than initially anticipated

As of April HPE had rolled out a series of VDI solutions that enable customers to adapt to the growing workforce and garnered a significant number of new customers. This week’s announcement at Workplace Next rides the momentum that highlighted use case-specific VDI offerings, allowing customers to customize their experience based on the type of worker and the size of the remote workforce. With these inputs, HPE can optimize newly designed VDI configurations that are dependent on each type of worker and customize pricing, billing and delivery.

Kaddoura explained that customers “need access to their data centers in a very secure way, and in a highly cost-optimized way as well,” and highlighted GreenLake as the cloud that can be implemented in a customer’s data center, colocation facility or edge. Additionally, she noted that what HPE has done is “brought together the best of our Pointnext Services, our software management layer, as well as HPE’s rich portfolio of hardware to create that cloud experience.”

While the announcement of HPE’s GreenLake virtual desktop cloud services was the banner topic woven throughout the event’s discussions, HPE’s rich ecosystem of partners was highlighted as key to optimizing the rollout of these latest features. For example, in addition to offering VDI from Citrix (Nasdaq: CTXS), HPE can now include VMware (NYSE: VMW) Horizon as well as NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA) virtual GPU (vGPU) technology for more cumbersome workloads. The extension of HPE’s partnership with Wipro was also announced, enabling delivery of hybrid cloud and VDI solutions “as a Service” through HPE GreenLake.

Yadavalli expanded on the partnership between Wipro and HPE explaining how the relationship will allow Wipro to leverage HPE GreenLake across its managed services portfolio, offering a pay-per-use model that is subscription based and easily consumable. The aim, said Yadavalli, is to “bring hyperscaler capabilities to customers on-premises or on hosted infrastructure,” which will enable customers to “fast track their workplace transformation efforts by eliminating the need for upfront capital investments and provisioning costs while enjoying the benefits of on-premises control, security and compliance.”

On Nov. 10 HPE sponsored Workplace Next, a series of discussions on the trends and impacts of the reimagined workforce as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, featuring a cross-industry panel of experts and executives. During the virtual broadcast, business leaders from various industry roles, including human resources, real estate, healthcare and manufacturing, discussed not only the workplace challenges and trends resulting from the pandemic but also highlighted the opportunities a remote work mandate have unveiled. HPE is a prime example of an enterprise that has addressed the challenges of remote work internally while reorienting its portfolio of solutions to enable as seamless a shift as possible for customers. Additionally, with the discussion of the reimagined workplace as the backdrop, HPE notably leveraged the event to announce expansion of HPE GreenLake VDI cloud services, which included several updates to its workforce strategy for the digital economy.

As COVID-19 pressures DMS opportunities, vendors seek alternative channels to increase brand stickiness

Key insights

While marketing and advertising initiatives take a back seat, at least temporarily, digital transformation programs continue to mature as enterprises explore new connection points made possible by emerging technologies that help them embark on initiatives beyond discrete process areas.

The 19 vendors benchmarked by TBR in our Digital Transformation: Digital Marketing Services report felt the impact of the pandemic as their average digital marketing services (DMS) revenues grew just 3.3% year-to-year in 2Q20, a drastic decline from 20.1%  five years ago.

Buyers’ patience seems to be wearing thin as vendors have failed to deliver on the promise of digital on their marketing campaigns and respective ROI.

TBR’s Digital Transformation: Digital Marketing Services Benchmark addresses changes in leading digital transformation vendors’ strategies and performances as well as their investments and go-to-market positions within marketing and advertising segments. The report includes use cases; analysis of agencies’, IT services’ and consultancies’ management of their technology partnerships and acquisitions; and a forward-looking view around key market trends, implications to customers and vendors, vendor performance, and associated technologies enabling digital transformation opportunities. Region-specific market trends are also highlighted in the report.