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Russia-Ukraine war: Talking talent and leadership

If the conflict in Ukraine remains hot, labor unions may kick into higher gear, extracting additional concessions and making it more costly for companies to exit any European market.

Russia-Ukraine war: Is Saudi Arabia’s consideration of the yuan the camel’s nose under the tent of U.S. economic sanctions policy?

As Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, analysts monitoring the war’s global repercussions have also noted Saudi Arabia intriguingly stating the kingdom would consider accepting yuan payments for oil sold to China.

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

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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.

Quick Quantum Quips: Cloud players are now looking for a piece of the quantum pie

The quantum market changes rapidly, and the hype can often distract from the realities of the technological developments. In our new monthly newsletter, Quick Quantum Quips (Q3), TBR will brief readers on the latest market announcements, stripping that hype to dig deeper into how recent events will impact the market as a whole. To schedule a time to chat with Analyst Stephanie Long about any of the insights below, contact her at [email protected].

DECEMBER 2019 DEVELOPMENTS:

  • D-Waveunveiled a partnership with NEC to bring hybrid quantum computing capabilities to market. Simply put, this partnership merges D-Wave quantum capabilities with NEC’s classical computing portfolio. On a deeper level, it provides D-Wave with a $10 million investment by NEC and access to the Japanese market, while NEC can provide its domestic market of Japan with a local alternative to quantum offerings similar to those of Fujitsu.
  • IBM announced the public availability of a quantum system allowing for pulse access, which is unique because it provides users with increased control compared to more traditional gate-level control. This development is in conjunction with a new version of Qiskit, and IBM Quantum Experience members have public access to this new capability. Pulse access provides users with an in-person feel to their quantum computing experience. Because of the delicate and expensive nature of quantum systems, they are currently available only via the cloud.
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS), in response to Microsoft Azure Quantum, unveiled Amazon Braket (currently only a preview of the offering), which is Amazon’s initial attempt to turn quantum computing into an easily accessible cloud service. Currently, only AWS corporate accounts will have access to the service, and access will be granted to systems from AWS partners D-Wave, Rigetti and IonQ. Like offerings from IBM and Microsoft, this cloud offering will provide a hybrid computing model for customers that will provide choice of underlying quantum architectures abstracted from the software programming. Innovations at the hardware level will not impede the ongoing software development or hedge customers’ and cloud providers’ bets on the technology.
  • Russia entered the quantum arms race this month, as Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov announced that Russia will invest $790 million into basic and applied quantum research over the next five years. The primary goal is for the country to build its own working quantum computer, with secondary goals of developing algorithms to run on this system to mine databases and create highly secure communication networks. The country is behind major players China and the U.S. in terms of the number of government initiatives that it has made public, but TBR believes Russia has likely been investing in the technology prior to making this announcement. Still, this is the first major public quantum announcement by Russia to date.
  • Accenture opened a NanoLab in Colombia designed to provide local Accenture customers with access to emerging technologies, including AI, robotics, blockchain and quantum computing. TBR believes that because Accenture’s quantum services play is funded by early adopters to jointly develop capabilities, increasing exposure of customers to the technology can increase interest in quantum computing overall as well as funding once more customers are able to uncover the advantages they can employ through such a relationship with Accenture.

If you would like to receive more detailed information around the quantum computing market, please inquire about TBR’s Quantum Computing Market Landscape, a semiannual deep dive into the quantum computing market. Our latest version published in December.