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IT services agenda poised to change in 2009

IT services providers face a new set of challenges when it comes to fulfilling cutomers’ expectations

IT services providers face a new set of challenges when it comes to fulfilling cutomers’ expectations next year following recent changes to the global financial climate.

A new study from advisory and consulting firm Ovum suggests the impact of a slowing global economy on BPO business models and the convergence of IT and telecoms services are set to be among the top issues facing IT services firms in 2009.

The continued importance of quality and security will also shape events in the market during the next twelve months, according to Ovum.

A worsening economic environment is driving demand for improved value from applications, applications-led outsourcing and other IT services, which in practical terms means demonstrable and sustainable cost effectiveness and reduced time to market.

Pressure is growing on developers and outsourcing providers, claims Ovum, to raise the “twin bars” of quality assurance — namely ensuring products and services are fit for purpose and being right first time.

Ovum is also gambling on cloud computing to shape the market next year. It believes the concept has the potential to both encompass and disrupt traditional models of infrastructure and applications outsourcing and third-party managed services, including SaaS.

Cloud computing is rapidly turning into one of the most competitive sectors as IT services firms endeavour to deliver new value added services to the market. “Customers, meanwhile, have seen and heard plenty of marketing messages around cloud computing, but are now searching for an answer as to what IT and business benefits could ensue,” stated Ovum.

Ovum also tips 2009 to herald an increase in consolidation between IT services and BPO companies, and an enhanced focus on disciplines such as ITIL and infrastructure rationalisation as CIOs aim for the most efficient use of people and resources.

“In this challenging economy, IT services providers will need to navigate a host of new and continuing challenges as they attempt to maintain and grow their business,” said Eammon Kennedy, practice leader at Ovum’s IT services team. “Providers must get ahead of these trends as they work to capture new customers and keep the ones they have.”

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