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Innovation and transformation centers: 4Q21 insights from TBR’s IT Services team

The silver lining of downward pressures that innovation and transformation centers are facing

Join Practice Manager and Principal Analyst Patrick Heffernan, Principal Analyst Boz Hristov, Senior Analyst Elitsa Bakalova and Senior Analyst Kelly Lesiczka Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, for an in-depth discussion on innovation and transformation centers, those places where IT services vendors and consultancies collaborate with clients and technology partners to create new business models and deploy emerging technologies to disrupt the market.

Don’t miss

  • Silver linings of all the downward pressures on in-person innovation sessions and physical centers
  • How these centers have evolved through the pandemic and what we can expect in 2022
  • Specific examples from vendors, including traditional strategy houses like McKinsey & Co. and Boston Consulting Group as well as Big Four firms, consulting-centric IT services vendors, tech-centric vendors and India-centric vendors

Register today 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].

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3 ways hybrid engagements will change consultants’ innovation & transformation centers

Join Principal Analyst Patrick M. Heffernan, Senior Analyst Boz Hristov and Analyst Kelly Lesiczka as they detail three key forces shaping the way IT services vendors and consultancies adjust their innovation and transformation centers to the new reality of hybrid engagements. With over 50 on-site visits to these digital experience centers prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Patrick, Boz and Kelly bring firsthand understanding of how these centers have been designed, staffed and operated as well as what changes customers can expect from these centers going into 2021.

Don’t miss:

  • What the best-prepared consultancies did to shift to all-virtual engagements, and how quickly they will evolve to a hybrid model
  • How clients’ expectations changed before the pandemic, and what new demands will emerge in 2021
  • Why hybrid engagements at innovation and transformation centers signal a shift to hybrid consulting

Innovation and transformation centers: Smart strategies pre-2020 will lead to success in a hybrid future

What the elite vendors have known: It is all about talent, location and network

In meeting with leaders at innovation and transformation centers around the world and discussing their approaches to talent, TBR learned that the most aggressive and successful vendors understood key human resources elements: Talent developed at a center could be dispersed across the globe to help establish new centers; the centers could be a magnet for new talent; and diverse talent on-site as a dedicated part of the center appealed to clients more than flying talent in for each engagement. 

In addition, the earliest successful centers featured a physical location separate from the rest of the company’s facilities to reinforce the idea as new and different while also encouraging clients to think more broadly about the vendor’s capabilities and offerings, getting clients out of their own offices into a more creative space, and providing the vendor with an attractive location for its own professionals to expand their own thinking about what was possible.

While all of these IT services vendors and consultancies have maintained global operations, the elite vendors have combined the talent elements and the benefits of a physical location and understood the importance of creating vibrant virtual networks to facilitate spreading ideas, sharing industry- or technology-specific best practices, and tying together multiple teams and solutions. In contrast, TBR visited vendors whose centers acted as stand-alone silos, with a minimal amount of or leadership emphasis on cross-border cooperation or sharing, limiting the impacts of the centers on clients’ transformations or the innovations within the vendor itself. Overall, the elite vendors understood that these centers catalyzed change throughout their own organizations, accelerating their own transformations even as they worked with clients.

“One additional current operational element stood out during the informal tour: PwC now engages in daily briefs to share success stories and exchange knowledge about solutions and creative approaches to clients’ issues. TBR has pressed every consultancy and IT service vendor on the issue of ensuring new ideas do not stay siloed in one location (diminishing the value of a global firm); to date, TBR believes no firm has developed a comprehensive, robust, and truly global means for sharing innovations and accelerating knowledge dispersion among digital transformation centers, although PwC, EY and Accenture likely have progressed the most.” 

TBR Special Report, Peak PwC or just getting started? PwC’s NYC EC, April 2019

Everyone has a digital transformation center: Over the last 10 years, every vendor in the consulting, IT services and broad technology space has opened a physical center dedicated to working with clients on their digital transformations and collaborating on innovation of products, processes or business models. TBR has visited at least one of nearly every vendor’s centers, from nine-story buildings in India to one-room product showcases in Texas. Among the common themes, three of the most persistent have been around people and clients.

Vendors have also wrestled with the best approaches to having technology partners on-site, choosing industry focus areas, selecting suitable spaces and/or locations, and managing intellectual property. The most common unknown is how to measure success. While disparities persist on how best to establish, run and monetize these centers, the common themes and challenges present an opportunity for vendors to examine which elements within a partner’s or peer’s center have contributed to what remains the common goal: retaining clients and expanding opportunities.