TBR launches Decarbonization Market Landscape

In TBR’s Decarbonization Market Landscape learn what vendors have committed to do, how they are helping clients, and where opportunities exist for technology partners, competitors and disruptors in the decarbonization space.

Built for this moment: Optiv evolved to full-stack security services

Expanded security services well beyond value-added reseller

On July 28, TBR attended a presentation and Q&A session held by Optiv’s leadership team, including CEO Kevin Lynch and SVP for Cyber Defense & Applied Security Jason Lewkowicz, who discussed the company’s overall strategy, place in the market and core cybersecurity offerings. They were later joined by a broader Optiv team for a deeper dive into some specific security services offerings. The following reflects that session as well as TBR’s ongoing research into and analysis of the cybersecurity services practices of leading IT services vendors, cloud vendors and software vendors.


For TBR, CEO Lynch captured Optiv’s essence when answering a question about change management by emphasizing how much Optiv itself has evolved and will continue to do so. Lynch said the company’s services business has changed significantly in the last couple of years. Previously, Optiv provided mostly attached technical services, bringing in third parties in a standard VAR business model. With expanded capabilities, Optiv expanded its footprint at clients and has shifted its focus to business outcomes, reflecting an evolution in how chief information security officers (CISOs) see their value in an organization. Lynch described Optiv as “the last mile in a tech ecosystem” and said his company was built for this particular moment in cybersecurity services, as Optiv combined “great technical acumen in the field,” proximity to clients, and technology ecosystem partnering done in “a unique way.”


In TBR’s view, Optiv unquestionably benefits from deep expertise in deploying and integrating a wide range of technologies across the security space and executing a business model pivot from VAR to a full range of consulting, integration and managed services capabilities. Private equity ownership and the ability to attract top security talent undoubtedly have helped the company expand. Sustained growth in the near to medium term will likely depend, in TBR’s view, on Optiv’s ability to scale current capabilities without compromising quality, expand brand recognition within the ecosystem as more than just a VAR, and deepen the company’s footprint with clients without overextending outside its core security services offerings.


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Close to clients, and delivering on technology and services

Optiv’s presentation included details about the company’s current business, which has over 2,300 professionals serving approximately 6,000 clients, predominately in North America. Lynch noted that the company’s revenues expanded at a double-digit growth rate from 2020 to 2021 based on two growth pillars: technology, which includes reselling technologies and solutions from 450 partners; and, services, which includes a 650-plus-person team of experts with deep technical talent working directly in the field on clients’ specific business and security challenges, supported by larger delivery and Security Operations Centers teams.

Lynch said clients vary widely by revenue size, and most of Optiv’s talent works in close proximity to clients’ sites, with the company operating just three main hubs in Kansas City, Kan.; Denver; and Bangalore, India. For context, TBR notes that Atos has a little less than three times as many security services professionals generating around $750 million annually, Accenture Security (NYSE: ACN) claims a headcount almost seven times Optiv’s with revenues close to $6 billion, and Deloitte has close to 10 times the headcount of Optiv and revenues near $4 billion. Those figures likely include professionals in roles not specific to security who provide industry knowledge, consulting or systems integration in coordination with more specialized security services engagements, but the overall scale of those three vendors challenges Optiv in terms of talent and client mindshare.

Meeting clients where they are with advice, implementation and managed services

Shifting to a discussion of how Optiv provides security services to clients, Lynch described three “modalities”: advise, deploy and operate. In the first, Optiv views its clients as deserving of “great advice on what to do in this unprecedented time,” leading the company to provide security strategies, insights, design and envisioning of desired future operational states. The second modality, deploy, constitutes the shift from “thoughts to actions,” as described by Lynch, and includes an evaluation of which technology assets should be deployed, validation of a client’s existing technology, sourcing by Optiv of fit-for-purpose technology, and integration into a client’s environment.

After this stage, according to Lynch, some clients ask Optiv to become a full-on security partner, taking over the operations of the client’s security apparatus through a managed services arrangement. Lynch said these clients typically recognize that Optiv’s security expertise cannot be replicated in-house, in part because these clients’ core business value does not come from security while Optiv’s does. He added that Optiv “will build the product stack to deliver on this promise” of providing “the entirety of [some clients’] security needs,” but cautioned that because Optiv has “to be perfect when we deliver,” the company continues to build out these capabilities to meet their ambitions.


Diving further into Optiv’s approach, SVP Lewkowicz noted Optiv has shifted its focus to making its services simple for clients to consume, in part by meeting a client “wherever they are on the security journey.” In describing some of Optiv’s security services, Lewkowicz said the company’s Strategy and Governance practice works with clients lacking core competence and expertise around security, helping those clients set desired outcomes; the Digital Transformation practice examines the full spectrum of enterprise technology for security implications, too often after a client has already started a digital transformation journey; and the Risk Management practice helps clients measure risk through the right security and compliance lenses.

In describing these offerings, which Optiv includes under an overall Cyber Strategy & Risk practice, complemented by a Cyber Protection & Identity practice and a Cyber Defense & Applied Security practice, Lewkowicz acknowledged the role of Optiv’s 450 technology partners and said the company is the “connective tissue” between technology and services.


TBR noted throughout Lewkowicz’s presentation an emphasis on highly flexible scoping arrangements, with Optiv content to meet a client’s every security need or just a small set. In TBR’s experience, most security services vendors take a more proscriptive — or at least an encouraging with some pressure — approach, potentially leading clients to take on more than they are prepared for. Both Lewkowicz and Lynch stressed that Optiv’s overall culture engendered a flexible and client-centric approach, potentially providing a strength against other security services vendors.


One additional note on Optiv’s approach: Lynch described his company’s decision to work with 450 technology partners as a strategic choice, saying they could work with 3,000 or more players across the security technology spectrum but had narrowed its ecosystem down to 450 to make Optiv a “value-added convener of IP.” He said that all 450 technology partners engage in go-to-market motions with Optiv and that the company wraps services around some of those technology partners’ solutions.

For a select group, perhaps as few as seven partners among the 450, Optiv cocreates and builds integrated solutions. This pyramid of partners strikes TBR as refreshingly honest — no company could adequately manage 450 relationships to a uniform degree of commitment and investment. Many larger, multifaceted IT services providers have established services-plus-technology partnerships, often described as business groups, to advance go-to-market strategies with specific technology vendors, such as Amazon Web Services (Nasdaq: AMZN), Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), Google (Nasdaq: GOOGL) and SAP (NYSE: SAP). While a seemingly successful strategy for IT services vendors, TBR does not believe that kind of branded approach, an explicit tie to a massive technology provider, would benefit Optiv.

As CISOs face uncertainty, Optiv provides focus, capabilities and experience

During his remarks, Lynch provided a passionate assessment of Optiv’s place in the market, noting that his company is “built for this moment, for this challenging time for our clients” and “we can stand shoulder to shoulder and help solve problems.” He added that Optiv’s heritage as a value-added reseller provided a solid foundation for evolution to a full-breadth security services company. “We don’t start and stop with [a VAR role],” he explained, “but bring consulting and tech talent to wrap around solutions and provide integrated outcomes.” Lynch contrasted Optiv with IT services vendors and consultancies that have a security services business as part of their overall suite of offerings and capabilities. Optiv just does security, and in Lynch’s telling, clients appreciate that singular focus.


Lynch spoke at length about the current challenges facing CISOs, including a challenging market for talent, accrued technical debt and legacy tools, many of which are not integrated and cannot coherently and consistently deliver business, data or technology outcomes. Added to this environment, Lynch said CISOs face changing reporting structures and must now do more than simply provision technology; CISOs now have to deliver business results, a shift Lynch described as “from inputs to outcomes.” Further, Lynch said cybersecurity attack surfaces and perimeters got stretched because of the pandemic and remote working, raising questions for CISOs about whether that expansion would become permanent. Lynch speculated most enterprises would remain hybrid for the coming decade, resulting in sustained demand for security services.


To meet these challenges, Lynch said Optiv brings its twin technology and services pillars, as well as the full 450-partner ecosystem, in a differentiated way, delivering full capabilities against CISOs’ current needs. In addition, the company launched its first solution using its own processes and will be aggressive in the near term on innovation and development, potentially also using acquisitions to expand across the market and into additional geographies.

Lynch and John Johnson, Optiv’s VP for Cyber Strategy & Transformation, noted competitors provide technology solutions but rarely have the ability to identify system dependencies and do not focus on business processes, leading to gaps in data and understanding about clients’ business-critical processes. Johnson noted that traditional IT services providers and consultancies do not approach resiliency and recovery with the same rigor as Optiv, speculating that these competitors perhaps lack talent who have responded to real and substantial ransomware attacks. On a final note about differentiation, Lynch said Optiv has experienced people who have seen the bad outcomes that can happen, are battle scarred and know what is really needed.


TBR has written extensively about IT services vendors’ and consultancies’ cybersecurity practices, having been briefed by those vendors, visited security operations centers and seen demonstrations of leading-edge solutions. But even with scale and people who are passionate about their craft, those security services practices remain only a part of the vendor’s or company’s overall business. Lynch is right in saying Optiv’s focus on only cybersecurity separates his company from competitors, no matter those competitors’ scale and client base.

Further, TBR’s research on digital transformation (DT) (see Figures 1, 2 and 3) illustrates two trends beneficial to Optiv: buyers continue to make security a priority, and buyers increasingly want an ecosystem of vendors, not “one throat to choke.” Optiv’s business model pivot to expanding beyond being a VAR, combined with the expertise Optiv has been recruiting in recent years and an emphasis on consulting — yes, Optiv now does change management consulting as part of its cybersecurity strategy engagements — appears to round out a complete picture of a most capable security services company that is well suited for the coming changes in the security services market. In Lynch’s words, TBR believes Optiv may be “built for this moment.”

Technologies Purchased for Central Digital Transformation Initiative

Figure 1

Digital transformation adopters overview

Figure 2

Importance of attributes in digital transformation services vendor selection

Figure 3


TBR includes coverage of cybersecurity services in individual vendor reports, benchmarks and market landscapes, with all analysis based on the individual strategies, performances and activities of the IT services vendors and consultancies in TBR’s scope. Foundational reports used for this special report include IT Services Vendor Benchmark, Digital Transformation Insights Report: Voice of the Customer Research and Management Consulting Benchmark. Access these reports and more with a 60-day free trial of TBR Insight Center™.

Unisys executes rebranding efforts to transform its image in the IT services space

Unisys hosted its first in-person Analyst Day event in Boston on June 2 to bring together leaders from segment groups and the top leadership team to discuss the company’s strategy pivot and refreshed branding image within the IT services space. CEO Peter Altabef; SVP and CTO Dwayne Allen; SVP and CMO Teresa Poggenpohl; and SVP and Chief Commercial Officer Maureen Sweeny led the presentation, walking through partnerships, modern workplace solutions and cloud strategies that will propel the company through 2022 and into 2023. Leon Gilbert, GM of Digital Workplace Solutions, and Mike McGarvey, senior director of Global Hybrid Cloud, led the discussion on Digital Workplace Solutions, and Manju Naglapur, GM of Cloud and Infrastructure Solutions, and Dan Chalk, senior director of Cloud and Infrastructure Solutions, discussed Cloud, Infrastructure and Application Services.

TBR Perspective

Over the past year, Unisys has executed on rebranding and marketing efforts to transform its image in the IT services space and offer a refreshed technology portfolio that allows the company to expand revenue and profitability.


Centering its solutions and talent around four key areas — Digital Workplace Solutions, Cloud, Infrastructure and Application Services, Business Process Solutions and Enterprise Computing Solutions — helps Unisys provide clients with the tools and services to uphold their modernized workplaces. To execute on this transformation, Unisys expanded its ecosystem to include the expertise, technology capabilities and scale required to move beyond traditional services needs and highlight its broadened experience and optimized portfolio. By leaning on its expanded ecosystem and undertaking internal innovation projects, Unisys has developed industry-specialized applications that better fit within clients’ environments.


As part of its rebranding, Unisys refined its talent strategy, looking to fill gaps around technology and make cultural improvements to bolster its companywide shift. With increasing competition around talent, Unisys aims to ensure it can recruit and retain resources that support growth opportunities. Unisys is not alone with attrition pressures as peers have also experienced jumps in attrition rates, particularly over the last 18 months, pushing vendors to hire and offset talent shortages.

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Changing marketing and portfolio trends

Unisys executed on refreshing its brand and marketing plan to better align its business offerings and market positioning to clients’ needs. A core piece of the company’s marketing transition was building partnerships with clients and instilling trust across its engagements, which will serve as a lead-in for both new and old clients and guide the integration of new technologies and solutions within IT environments. To support this end, Unisys updated its website to leverage a more content-oriented approach, showcasing client testimonials and experiences as well as outcomes. Additionally, increased marketing efforts to grow awareness of its portfolio and wealth of experience transform Unisys’ image and guide business model shifts. Increasing brand trust improves market perception, which will help Unisys grow its client base and existing engagements as well as attract new talent.


Shifting its marketing approach created opportunities for Unisys in the C-Suite. As clients look to establish new security, cloud, digital, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) offerings, Unisys strengthens its ability to engage with different levels within the C-Suite to guide these projects. The content-driven approach is geared toward attracting higher-level stakeholders and generating larger-scale transformation projects.


By deepening its involvement in the ESG market, Unisys is able to better help clients address their sustainability targets and improve their environmental footprints. In 2006 Unisys set internal targets to control and reduce emissions and outputs, which helped it gain experience and outcomes in the area. Unisys has since updated its targets to continue its progress toward the company’s sustainability goals.


Developing the internal skills and resources needed to implement the company’s sustainability goals enables Unisys to execute on similar efforts for clients, particularly in Europe, where it has helped clients adapt to new regulations regarding emissions and energy consumption. Unisys also executes on the social and cultural aspects of ESG to help clients improve internally and externally.


In July TBR published the special report, Atos’ sustainability play relies on ecosystems, science and leading by example, which expands on the customer-zero approach, showcasing the SI vendors that have created more resonant use cases. For example, according to the report, “Atos has rarely presented itself as customer zero, but with sustainability the vendor has been showing its own standards to clients and the internal lessons learned on adoption, measurement and change management.” By expanding its breadth of ESG capabilities and its brand recognition, Unisys has established a foundation it can build upon in its growth areas.


Business models shifts, including support from Unisys’ external branding and marketing efforts to transform market perception, have allowed the company to lead with trust and deliver on clients’ needs to drive outcomes, leaning on its portfolio depth and partner ecosystem. Showcasing the depth of its portfolio and services will allow Unisys to better lead discussions with new stakeholders within emerging areas.

Emphasizing digital workplace and cloud

As clients execute on larger-scale transformation projects, they look for vendors to guide projects from beginning to end and to provide support following completion. Repositioning through marketing plans and a refreshed portfolio image allows Unisys to serve as a go-to partner for its clients.


The key theme of partnerships and value-driven outcomes for clients was embedded throughout the event, serving as evidence of Unisys’ efforts to improve relationship management and the relevancy of its portfolio. By working closely with clients to update their environments and business strategies, underpinned by emerging technologies, Unisys can enable clients to respond more quickly to market changes and operate more cost effectively. While the majority of Unisys’ revenue is generated through outsourcing and support and maintenance — which represent approximately 65% of total revenue — consulting work is helping to guide the adoption of digital workplace and cloud solutions. Expanding those conversations with clients will expand the breadth of Unisys’ consulting experience and ability to guide transformations.


During the event Unisys also highlighted its partner ecosystem and the roles it plays in accelerating digital transformation and helping the company grow its portfolio around both consulting capabilities and emerging technology. Forging partnerships enhances Unisys’ value proposition around industry solutions, improving its ability to identify and address clients’ transformative needs.


Additionally, Unisys incorporates consulting services derived from partnerships to better guide cloud migrations to Amazon Web Services and other hyperscaler solutions. This aligns with TBR’s findings in its May 2022 Digital Transformation: Voice of the Customer Research, which supports the idea that SIs will be capable of delivering an ecosystem of solutions to enable transformation. According to the report, “While cloud migration and IT modernization continue to provide the bulk of the services opportunities, buyers, especially the ones that have led the way in terms of adopting a business-first, technology-second mindset, are now demonstrating an appetite for experimenting with new technologies in areas such as AI, enabling them to further enhance customer experience.”


TBR’s June 2022 Digital Transformation: Cloud Ecosystems Market Landscape also emphasizes the need of hyperscaler partners is deeply rooted in platforms and scale to transformation projects. The market landscape states, “While hyperscalers’ platform capabilities provide the necessary hooks into IT systems, both new and old, to enable the construction of hybrid IT and cloud environments, the SI community serves as the tip of hyperscalers’ go-to-market spear, capable of establishing the business case for emerging DT [digital transformation] initiatives to gain the trust and buy-in from a diverse array of buyers.”


Working with partners supplements Unisys’ internal innovation efforts to deepen its experience around digital workplace services and cloud solutions. During this event, Unisys walked through its digital solutions, including intelligent workplace services, modern device management and Workplace as a Service as well as its cloud solutions such as cloud data and analytics, management and hybrid infrastructure services. The solutions help clients navigate technology debt — debt incurred from technical assets and/or data centers — while also modernizing traditional elements, bridging the gap between legacy and emerging areas. Addressing the cost impacts in addition to technology needs allows Unisys to serve as a trusted partner for its clients, enabling them to sustain and manage transformations.

Differentiation through trust

While differentiation presents a challenge for all vendors, Unisys leans on its client engagement and relationship management to serve as a go-to partner and deliver across different needs. Instilling trust by testing and working on capabilities internally, such as around ESG with company targets, can help bolster conversations with clients. Strong relationships with clients help increase awareness of Unisys’ portfolio depth and efforts to transform the company’s image in the market. Centering engagements on trust through outcome-driven solutions that bring value to clients leads to higher renewals for Unisys and new logo generation. Showcasing client experiences and business outcomes on the website and through digital marketing efforts will resonate with clients and prospects and guide further discussions.


Unisys’ efforts to grow its cloud portfolio and support its partner solution adoption provide opportunities for the company to drive larger-scale transformations. More specifically, Unisys executes on technology debt reduction, creates interoperability between different environments and devices, and increases internal agility to respond more rapidly to client needs. The portfolio expansion allows Unisys to help clients navigate multicloud complexities as well as guide the use of applications to help modernize business operations and utilize data. Leaning on its client relationships, Unisys proactively helps clients solve current problems while creating more resilient business environments that can be more flexible when confronted with unexpected challenges.


As clients’ and market needs change, Unisys evaluated its portfolio offerings and infused an expanded set of digital workplace and cloud solutions to refresh its business strategy and align with client requirements. Coupled with a more active marketing strategy that centers on content and experience underpinned by client testimonials, Unisys helps progress beyond traditional transformation engagements to deliver on more complex cloud and digital transformations.


Working as a partner to guide clients through challenges and improve their flexibility further strengthens Unisys’ position as a trusted vendor that can drive outcomes and value. A greater emphasis on clients’ needs, with outcomes at the center, will continue to showcase Unisys’ ability to deliver on changing market dynamics and accelerate from a revenue growth and portfolio expansion perspective alongside its clients.

TBR releases exclusive webinar content from 2Q22

2Q22 competitive intelligence webinars included talks on expectations for IT infrastructure investments, cloud ERP opportunity, COVID-19’s lasting impact on the IT services market, the latest in blockchain and sustainability initiatives, and more.

The pandemic’s lasting impact on IT services: Who’s leading through 2022 and beyond

Join Practice Manager Patrick Heffernan, Principal Analyst Boz Hristov, Senior Analyst Elitsa Bakalova, Senior Analyst Kelly Lesiczka and Analyst John Croll for a discussion on which vendors have fared best in IT services, consulting and digital transformation amid the global pandemic. The team will evaluate the strategies and investments made by different vendors, including in alliances, M&A, talent and portfolio transformations, that improved or hindered their position in the market.


In this FREE webinar you’ll learn:

  • Key investments driving revenue growth acceleration for some benchmarked vendors
  • Automation as the clear, successful path forward as vendors’ HR strategies have reached an inflection point
  • How consultancies are enabling hybrid cloud while bolstering on-premises enhancements to flourish


Mark your calendars for Thursday, June 9, 2022, at 1 p.m. EDT,
and REGISTER to reserve your space.



Related content:

  1. Digital transformation, cybersecurity and cryptocurrency: How the war in Ukraine will change technology forever


Click here to register for more TBR Webinars





TBR launches semiannual Digital Commerce Market Landscape

TBR’s Digital Commerce Market Landscape tracks how customers are using e-commerce and end-user portal features and functionality across their cloud, services and IT purchasing, as well as customer desires for the future of vendor-delivered e-commerce and self-service features.

Blockchain, sustainability and IT services

Join Practice Manager Patrick Heffernan and TBR’s Professional Services team as they connect evolutions in blockchain-enabled digital transformations and acceleration in adoption of sustainability actions and commitments, all in the context of the fast-changing market for IT services. TBR’s analysts will discuss which vendors will most likely benefit from increased demand around decarbonization and managed services and which vendors are best leveraging their alliances within the wider technology ecosystem..


Mark your calendars for Thursday, May 5, 2022, at 1 p.m. EDT,
and REGISTER to reserve your space.

Related content:

  1. Ukraine and the future of digital transformation
  2. KPMG decarbonization: The change agent helping the firm pivot toward its next chapter
  3. Atos: Digital twin enables decarbonization


Click here to register for more TBR Webinars





Global IT talent: Accelerated hiring for IT services counters persistent attrition

In TBR’s latest Global Delivery Benchmark, one particular number leapt out as both surprising and indicative of the sustained battle for technology talent.

Ukraine and the future of digital transformation

Join Patrick M. Heffernan and members of multiple TBR teams Thursday, April 14, 2022,  for a discussion on the repercussions of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine across consulting, IT services, cloud and digital transformation landscapes. TBR analysts will debate which vendors will most likely see a surge in business and opportunities and detail which vendors have been most exposed to negative fallout from sanctions, talent disruptions or overexposure to Russian markets. They will also look at whether a sustained conflict in Eastern Europe will stall, slow or accelerate digital transformation initiatives across the globe.

Don’t miss:

  • From localization to globalization and robotization to hybridization, vendors’ delivery models continue to evolve with the war in Ukraine, forcing many vendors to reconsider their next move
  • Cloud vendors will likely see minimal direct disruption as a result of the invasion, and overall, economic uncertainty bodes well for cloud continued accelerated adoption
  • Vendors best positioned to advise on and deliver solutions as real-time data processing globally complicates data privacy issues when collecting information in and around a war zone

Mark your calendars for Thursday, April 14, 2022, at 1 p.m. EDT,
and REGISTER to reserve your space.

Related content:

  1. 2022 Predictions: Digital Transformation
  2. Russia-Ukraine war: 3 factors critical to IT services vendors and consultancies
  3. Russian aggression will not dampen pandemic-driven cloud demand

Click here to register for more TBR Webinars





Russia-Ukraine war: 3 factors critical to IT services vendors and consultancies

Expecting little change but some opportunities in the near term

In the near term, ceased or slowed operations in Russia and Belarus will not significantly affect the revenues or strategic directions of most IT services vendors and management consultancies. Firms will stay clear of Russia, understanding any lost revenues will be well worth forgoing to alleviate the risks of running afoul of sanctions or committing a public relations blunder by staying on in an increasingly isolated country.

Within Europe, management consultancies and IT services vendors with strong consulting capabilities (such as Accenture and Capgemini) will likely see near-term opportunities to provide crisis management, operational expertise and supply chain consulting. Some vendors may repurpose pandemic-created solutions to meet the logistical challenges brought on by the mounting refugee crisis. PwC, for example, could apply the design and technology used to ensure its employees’ safety and security while working remotely during the pandemic to assist Ukrainian refugee families trying to stay connected across multiple borders and amid changing circumstances.

Three factors: Length and resolution, macroeconomic fallout, and risk

Over the remainder of 2022, how the war in Ukraine will change IT services vendors’ and consultancies’ European operations depends on three factors: the length and resolution (or lack thereof) of the conflict; the macroeconomic fallout; and each vendor’s willingness to take risks with talent, acquisitions and clients.

The first two factors necessarily influence each other. A hot war sustained throughout 2022 would severely curtail broader European economic growth, likely keep inflation high, and shift spending by governments and commercial clients alike. Cybersecurity and supply chain opportunities may flourish, but overall reduced spending and economic activity would slow or reverse growth, at least in Europe. A cease-fire and stalemate, with a low-intensity insurgency in eastern Ukraine coupled with an uneasy rebuilding in western Ukraine, would likely produce additional opportunities around risk management, compliance and Industrial IoT. Again, the growth associated with those new opportunities would be tamped down by overall economic uncertainty.

In both scenarios, energy costs in Europe and globally will provide persistent headwinds. TBR anticipates that in the face of persistent macroeconomic pressures in Europe, vendors already active elsewhere will accelerate those investments. In APAC, IT services vendors and consultancies have increasingly invested in regional opportunities, notably the Australian public sector, automation-enabled BPO in Japan, and digital- and e-commerce-driven demand for customer experience applications in many countries in Southeast Asia. In TBR’s view, vendors with the most diversified footprints are the best positioned to absorb new risks — not a novel observation but newly important.

A quick resolution, followed by a return to some measure of normality, would likely alleviate macroeconomic pressures while bringing forward the third factor: appetite for risk. IT services vendors and consultancies would have the opportunity to hire (or rehire) Russian consulting and technology talent, move quickly again on acquisitions, and re-evaluate taking on Russian clients, particularly those pledging to help rebuild Russia’s credibility and good standing in the global market. Clients, both European governments and multinational companies, looking to escape inflationary pressures and find quick growth after a war-based shock to Europe’s economy may look to vendors, particularly the management consultancies, for assistance. And these vendors will be forced to decide whether or not to help high-value clients resume their business in Russia. As quickly as the world closed the Russian economic spigot, it could be reopened.

The determining factor: Leadership

More than any other factor, leadership will determine how these vendors handle the war in Ukraine and its effects on their business, and TBR will be assessing leadership decisions, announcements and strategy shifts over the next few weeks for markers of the most likely near-term and 2022 outcomes.