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Tuesday 12 December 2017

**NEW RESEARCH** Predictions 2018: Infrastructure Services

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Breaking the Boundaries is TechMarketView’s research theme for 2018. In Infrastructure Services this means embracing newer technologies to push the limit of what has been possible to date. It also means rethinking the workforce to ensure new technologies can be fully exploited by the right experts, who are also capable of working in very different ways - DevOps being an obvious case in point.

For all the talk of digital transformation, however, the most important issue for many buyers will continue to be the cost of maintaining the systems they already have. The added layer of complexity is that these systems don’t just have to be able to do what they have always done; they will also become the foundations upon which the business is digitised. There will therefore be no let up in the pressure CIOs put on suppliers to deliver services for less, which is setting the tone for wider discussions: digitisation has got to be affordable.

2018 promises to be an interesting period with many opportunities for suppliers. Below we outline some of the developments we expect to see as the year unfolds.

The skills challenge will deepen, weakening some suppliers
We see suppliers that are not able to address the volume of opportunities in the pipeline because they simply do not have the people to deliver the services. Furthermore, we believe this issue will get worse in 2018 for some service providers as recognised specialists gravitate - and stick - to certain brands.

Risk that buyers become desensitised to co-innovation
Many suppliers now have digital transformation ‘labs’ where they can demonstrate their offerings and work on defining strategies and solutions – together with their clients. However, ‘veteran’ buyers may feel they have been here before, for example when there was a big push to put innovation into outsourcing contracts several years back.

Demand for sub-sector expertise will heighten
In 2018 we expect to see an evolution of demands from buyers. Increasingly they will want to see evidence of expertise and solutions within industries to the sub-sector level (this does not, however, mean they don’t understand the advantages of cross-pollinating ideas between sectors as well).

Automation of Infrastructure Services will step up a gear
Supplier openness to funding – and their desire to invest at speed and scale – means we will see many more end user organisations gain access to, and benefit from, automation technologies in 2018.

From help desk to customer service: AI makes it mark
Do we think 2018 will see the emergence of the perfect service desk? No – we are a way off that. However, as suppliers refine their technological approaches we expect to see incremental improvements that will help nibble away at what is a complex and widespread issue.

Infrastructure Services Predictions 2018 provides a deeper dive into these topics and the report is now available for download by eligible subscribers. If you’re not a current subscriber please contact Deb Seth for details of how to take one out.

Posted by Kate Hanaghan at '20:58'