Ovum IT services analysis reveals a market still reverberating from recent tough times, with buyers keen primarily on safer, streamlined offerings.
The latest Bundled Services Quarterly, 2Q13 points to growing confidence in comprehensive IT and services outsourcing, the research firm noted, but also suggests procurers want one throat to choke.
Jens Butler, principal IT services analyst at Ovum and author of the index, said: "Buyers are increasingly looking for a single point of accountability when sourcing external services, and Ovum expects engagement models appropriate to different types of service to exist alongside each other.
"These may all be managed and governed via a single supplier agreement."
Butler said that buyers of IT services are displaying a greater need for stability and a longer-term vision of how technology and related offerings will support their organisation than in the past.
"With an unpredictable outlook for IT services, buyers are demanding financial stability, the ability to drive real innovation, and longer-term commitments – at a contract and operational resource level," he said.
Butler added that the rise of cloud, analytics, mobility and social media technologies is having an effect on sourcing – but they are only likely to augment and refine existing engagement models until providers convince customers they will address their business needs, as well as their technology needs.
Such trends may still ultimately be as "disruptive" as they are described, but over the longer term.
The changes are partly down to demand for more control and management of IT services engagements – emanating from previous provider failures, especially when multiple suppliers had been involved.
Butler said that increasingly, organisations needed to partner with a services provider, which means multi-year bundles of services are getting larger and longer.
"Committing to such fundamental organisation-wide change programmes requires key stakeholders to be along for the whole journey," he said. "The willingness of buyers to commit to such programmes of work demands stable, trusted and well-funded partners."
Ovum's bundling index assesses and tracks the core components of larger and more complex IT services contract engagements, claimed the firm.
According to the index, post-recession confidence began to rise in 2010, increasing steadily until Q1 of 2012, when it dipped once more, only beginning to rise steadily again in Q3 of 2012.
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