Maggie Nolan: The IT service and process outsourcing industry has seen a tremendous impact from the global health crisis. First and foremost, these companies have had to move large employee bases to work-from-home delivery models, and depending on their geographic exposure could have faced really difficult logistical and regulatory hurdles in doing that. So talent management is something that we’re watching closely for these companies. At the same time, these businesses have been trying to help enable their clients to work-from-home delivery models as well, giving them access to the hardware, software, and even implementing collaboration software so that their clients can rise to this challenge. And while that does create a little uptick in terms of demand in the near term here, we do expect that IT spending and budgets will see an impact in terms of the economic ramifications of the global health crisis. But, perhaps more interesting is what happens to IT budgets and spending as we move out of this crisis. There’s going to be a period of time where executives and board members are reflecting on why weren’t their businesses prepared well enough and how do we need to prepare for the future.
On business continuity, executives may be asking, “Was I able to shift from home; did I have the right infrastructure in place?” And really weighing that risk.
Executives may also be asking, “Were my employees and my third-party vendors able to execute on core processes during this time?” And so there may be an opportunity for increased automation tools going forward to reduce that business-continuity risk. On the customer experience side, businesses are going to be looking at whether or not they were able to connect with their customers, provide compelling experiences, and there could be fundamental changes going forward in terms of how consumers interact with businesses.
So logical areas of spend could be on things like development of ecommerce platforms, analytics to understand the behaviors of your consumers, perhaps there’s going to be spending on process management, or increased spending on something like chatbots so you can free up capacity of your employees for more complex questions and problems going into the future. Overall we think that executives and boards are going to be looking at digital transformation as a logical area of spending coming out of this as they think about moving their clients seamlessly between online and offline worlds.