Pandemic Speeds Up Digital Transformation Plans as Enterprises Mount Responses to Rapid Changes

ISG Provider Lens™ report says service providers are helping companies at all stages of transformation adopt technologies for efficiency, customer experience and competitiveness

STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–$III #AI–The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated enterprise digital transformation by three to five years as companies build IT ecosystems to enable growth, innovation and improved customer experiences under new conditions, according to a new research report published today by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Digital Business Solutions and Services Archetype report finds that digital transformation, including the digitalization of existing processes and the development of new and digitally enabled ways of doing business, is one of the major trends in modern business and has increased demand for technology and service providers.

“The pandemic has forced enterprises to explore new ways to enable remote work, manage supply and demand and remain competitive,” said Prashant Kelker, partner and Americas leader, ISG Digital. “Providers are supporting transformations that involve not just technology but a company’s entire operations and organization.”

The technologies most used in digital transformations in 2021 were automation and analytics, the report says. With workforces stretched, automation saved time and effort spent on routine tasks. Analytics provided insights to better manage supply chains and assess customer experiences. Tools based on artificial intelligence or machine learning converted data from multiple sources to predict downtime and apply self-healing measures to prevent it.

Many enterprises in 2021 were focused on delivering “digital human experiences” to customers, employees and partners, ISG says. In partnership with service providers, companies are now using AI to analyze customer data and create customized, hyper-personalized services for a microsegment of customers.

Several trends are helping to make digital transformation possible through joint efforts by enterprises and providers, according to ISG. The growth of low-code development platforms allows companies to rapidly build and modernize applications while enabling more collaboration and a better employee experience. MLOps, a management and operational framework for machine learning, allows data scientists to focus on development and reduces deployment times.

In addition, many more providers are offering outcome-based pricing, with about 10 to 15 percent of engagements using this highly committed approach, ISG says. Providers are also developing more in-house tools and accelerators for digital services, as well as ready-to-deploy platforms and industry-specific tools with proven use cases.

The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Digital Business Solutions and Service Partners – Archetype report examines four different types of clients, or archetypes, that are looking for digital business solutions and services. The report evaluates the capabilities of 33 digital transformation providers to deliver services to the four archetypes:

Traditional & Conservative Archetype: These enterprises are legacy-heavy organizations with limited outsourcing experience. They engage with service providers selectively to implement new technologies across one business function, or cautiously across an entire business process. Their digitalization projects are focused on improving operational efficiencies and customer relations. These clients require basic expertise, assistance in digital transformation and enabling programs such as assessment and evaluation tools, workshops and training.

Managed Services Archetype: These organizations have successfully executed smaller digital transformation initiatives, such as cost optimization or task automation, and are eager to go further. They invest in business process/function automation, cloud and user experience efforts to achieve business outcomes. Following earlier successes, such clients are willing to transfer greater operational responsibility to an outsourcing service provider while reducing internal IT staffing. They need comprehensive implementation support and managed services from providers to continue their digital journeys.

Transformational Archetype: The extremely customer-centric enterprises in this archetype seek to implement new services to enhance customer experience or generate more revenue. They are willing to undertake massive transformational projects and prefer to work with large-scale service providers. Transformational clients need providers to deploy applications quickly while offering an end-to-end supply chain design, conceptualizing a new business model and consulting on architecture and cloud application design. They prefer providers with dedicated Agile, DevOps and API teams and expertise in technologies such as IoT, digital twin, blockchain and cybersecurity.

Pioneering Archetype: These enterprises are disruptors that partner with service providers to drive their innovation agendas. They seek to extend successful transformation initiatives with niche technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), edge computing and 3D printing. Pioneering clients require robust consulting and advisory services and are willing to co-create digital solutions and form joint centers of excellence to exchange ideas and knowledge. They prefer providers that have large portfolios of digital tools, accelerators and other intellectual property and that offer outcome-based pricing.

Among the providers ISG evaluated, Atos, Cognizant, HCL, Infosys, LTI, Tech Mahindra and Wipro are named as Leaders across all four archetypes. Accenture, IBM, Mindtree and TCS are named as Leaders across three archetypes each. Hexaware and Zensar are named as Leaders for two archetypes and Cybage for one archetype.

The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Digital Business Solutions and Services Archetype report is available to subscribers or for one-time purchase on this webpage.

About ISG Provider Lens™ Research

The ISG Provider Lens™ Quadrant research series is the only service provider evaluation of its kind to combine empirical, data-driven research and market analysis with the real-world experience and observations of ISG’s global advisory team. Enterprises will find a wealth of detailed data and market analysis to help guide their selection of appropriate sourcing partners, while ISG advisors use the reports to validate their own market knowledge and make recommendations to ISG’s enterprise clients. The research currently covers providers offering their services globally, across Europe, as well as in the U.S., Germany, Switzerland, the U.K., France, the Nordics, Brazil and Australia/New Zealand, with additional markets to be added in the future. For more information about ISG Provider Lens research, please visit this webpage.

A companion research series, the ISG Provider Lens Archetype reports, offer a first-of-its-kind evaluation of providers from the perspective of specific buyer types.

About ISG

ISG (Information Services Group) (Nasdaq: III) is a leading global technology research and advisory firm. A trusted business partner to more than 700 clients, including more than 75 of the world’s top 100 enterprises, ISG is committed to helping corporations, public sector organizations, and service and technology providers achieve operational excellence and faster growth. The firm specializes in digital transformation services, including automation, cloud and data analytics; sourcing advisory; managed governance and risk services; network carrier services; strategy and operations design; change management; market intelligence and technology research and analysis. Founded in 2006, and based in Stamford, Conn., ISG employs more than 1,300 digital-ready professionals operating in more than 20 countries—a global team known for its innovative thinking, market influence, deep industry and technology expertise, and world-class research and analytical capabilities based on the industry’s most comprehensive marketplace data. For more information, visit



Will Thoretz, ISG

+1 203 517 3119

Erik Arvidson, Matter Communications for ISG

+1 617 874 5214

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