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Ovum finds crisis of confidence and desire to shift risk is holding back European outsourcing market

(PresseBox) (London, ) The economic crisis has not fundamentally changed buying behaviour for large sourcing projects in Europe, says Ovum. However, a crisis of confidence and the desire of buying organisations to shift risk onto vendors is holding back progress in the European outsourcing market.

With sales cycles lengthening and budgets tightening, new research from Ovum* reveals that vendors are increasingly expected to take on more risk. This is putting pressure on margins and resulting in quality of service emerging as the key battleground for the next 18 months. As a consequence, the number of megadeals has decreased. This combined with the implosion of demand for outsourcing in the UK public sector, has led to falling levels of total contract value (TCV).

"The crisis of 2008 led to a phase of anaemic growth in the European outsourcing market, prompting fundamental questions about the state and direction of the industry," comments Tom Reuner, principal analyst at Ovum. "While there are no simple answers to how to best measure growth and anticipate the future direction of the market, we expect an acceleration of M&A as scale and access to funding become key strategic levers for vendors."

In terms of the impact of new delivery models such as cloud services or business-process-as-a-service (BPaaS), the belief of vendors that these will lead to new revenue opportunities is likely to end in disappointment. Ovum predicts that these models will have only a marginal impact on TCV in the short to medium-term due to business models not evolving in line with technological advances.

"Cloud services will become part of a blended delivery backbone, but not necessarily the game-changer that many providers proclaim," explains Reuner. "Instead, vendors need to adapt their business models to allow for continued price and margin pressure beyond risk mitigation as smaller contracts, often in multi-source environments, will increase competition."

Ovum also encourages enterprises to re-evaluate their approach to renegotiating contracts and seek risk mitigation from vendors as margin pressure forces vendors to compromise on the quality of service delivery.


Ovum provides clients with independent and objective analysis that enables them to make better business and technology decisions. Our research draws upon over 400,000 interviews a year with business and technology, telecoms and sourcing decision-makers, giving Ovum and our clients unparalleled insight not only into business requirements but also the technology that organisations must support. Ovum is an Informa business.