Irene Pimentel

Irene Pimentel

Irene Pimentel is an IBRS analyst who focuses on news and information on the global IT Outsourcing market. Irene provides IBRS clients with up to date information on all outsourcing deals that are taking place helping our clients understand who is winning business in what markets. With over 10 years experience as a management consultant, Irene has worked with some of Australia's largest blue chip companies and public sector organisations. Irene has also worked as a research manager for an IT sourcing consultancy, providing clients with targeted intelligence and advice for their specific IT sourcing transactions.

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Conclusion:

This month, discussions regarding the continued growth of the managed service provider sector have been prominent. There has also been an emphasis on innovative business and service delivery models to slot in with customer needs and internal processes. While providers continue to establish a more stable presence in the industry, allowing for necessary change and consolidation, the service and customer landscape constantly evolves. Customers demand targeted solutions with ongoing vendor support that can integrate with a business’ strategic priorities, adapt to change in a company, or allow for responses when difficulties arise.


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Conclusion:

This month, discussions regarding significant technology industry growth in 2022, particularly the second half of the year, have been prevalent. An increase in sales, design, and implementation projects has been flagged, as well as recurring revenue streams. As customers begin to pull out of uncertainties, there has been a focus on building solutions that are sufficiently scalable, robust, and secure to withstand future unforeseen issues. There has also been an emphasis on increasing value by managing the cost base of projects and promoting business growth. In order to support this type of demand, vendors must take into account customer preferences for building their own solutions that can be integrated into existing products and services, followed by how to assist customers when utilising solutions to generate demonstrable value for organisations.


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Conclusion: This month, discussions regarding partner-led growth through alliances and acquisitions have been prominent. Being selective with these types of relationships can allow for increased access to clients, service providers, and an expanded skills base. However, the rapid deployment of new resources through partnerships and acquisitions can add complexities, reduce visibility and increase security risks when consolidating internal business processes, or products and services. Challenges associated with conflicts and vulnerabilities when bringing organisations together, in any way, must be addressed with ongoing skills growth, as well as resources and management structures to support complex and changing environments.


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Conclusion:

This month, discussions regarding the need for improved security efforts have been prominent. Analyses of security concerns in 2021 have shown a significant increase in cyber security and ransomware attacks. Annual reviews have flagged a changed threat landscape, with attacks increasing in volume and severity. There has also been an escalation in the magnitude of highly targeted attacks, possessing clearer objectives which provoke more serious overall impacts. As attacks have become more prolific and aggressive, organisations are demanding a wider range of higher quality security services that can be tailored to individual needs. Customers are acknowledging that without strategic changes and significant action, the increase in security incidents witnessed in 2021 will continue throughout 2022.


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Conclusion:

This month has seen increased discussions regarding the need for digital transformation in the face of changing customer needs. Distributed workforce environments, ongoing shifts in operational structures, and the need to respond to customer demands quickly have driven the need for transformation efforts. Reduced costs, improved service levels, and differentiation have become priorities for organisations, with a focus on utilising technologies that can support business changes whilst retaining the resiliency of internal solutions. Organisations are also prioritising reduced infrastructure deployments and the elimination of dependency on technologies that can become dated, unstable or unable to support changes in business operations. Vendors have found the provision of adaptive platforms that are tightly integrated are in high demand. Service providers need to leverage a range of solutions that can slot together and are sufficiently flexible to adapt and be altered to meet changing customer needs quickly, all at once maintaining solution resiliency.


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Conclusion: This month has seen an increased focus on discussions regarding supply chain disruptions. While demand for ICT products and associated services remains strong, if supply chain issues cannot be averted or accommodated, disruptions experienced can have an adverse impact on a business’ ability to operate. Supply chain issues, as well as sudden shifts in supply or demand can impact on sales and general company operations. To ensure the continued delivery of business-critical products and services, digital transformation efforts are required to reduce the impact of supply chain disruptions and minimise effects on business operations. Vendors can assist with establishing protocols, supply chain resilience and maintenance as well as ensure a well-managed supply chain remains a business priority.


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Conclusion: This month has seen a rise in outsourcing project implementations. In particular, the completion of migration, consolidation and transformation efforts have been prominent. Whilst this work is critical, developing, then commencing and conducting successful projects can be difficult. After completion, ongoing monitoring and assessment of projects is required. Without careful planning and strategic approaches to align new projects with business objectives, organisations can be vulnerable to technical capability gaps, as well as inappropriate systems and tools that fail to fulfill technical objectives. Hasty, short-term solutions can result in partially implemented or inadequate systems that can decrease a company’s ability to innovate, reduce the capacity to respond to competitive threats, and excessive, unexpected costs. When planning projects, it is important to engage specialists that can assist with a strategic, long-term approach to project planning, implementation, and ongoing review.


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Conclusion:

This month, discussions regarding mergers and acquisitions have been prominent, in particular the high level of activity in ICT services companies. A number of companies have attributed growth to past acquisitions, announced intentions to acquire particular firms or flagged acquisition activity as a strategic priority. Associated actions, such as rebranding, restructuring, and capital raising efforts have also been discussed. The need to remain competitive in current environments, utilising mergers and acquisitions to help evolve businesses has become clear. These transactions can be highly beneficial when expansion plans include re-engineering core business lines, or developing new and targeted specialisations. However, when looking into acquisitions, it is important to plan carefully, intertwine activities with current company strategies and ensure a balance between a company’s existing strengths and stretching newly acquired specialities.


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Conclusion:

This month, discussions regarding security threats to third party suppliers have been prominent. With malicious actors targeting new technologies and work methods, it has become critical for customers to assess and conduct ongoing reviews of third party supplier security prior to establishing partnerships, particularly critical systems providers. A rigorous security strategy and ongoing maintenance is required to safeguard customer data and internal systems. Third party suppliers require the ability to deal with irregular activities, as well as technical controls and policies that correlate with their customers. Supplier vulnerabilities can result in operations and compliance risks, necessitating professionals to develop, implement and audit third party risk management strategies and processes. It also requires security professionals to conduct ongoing audits, establish plans for third party incident responses, and the implementation of restricted access mechanisms. Customers can strengthen their resistance and attack containment mechanisms with professionals to help detect, analyse, contain, and respond to security threats.


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Conclusion:

This month, discussions regarding security threats to managed services providers (MSPs) have been prominent. In the past, cyber criminals and ransomware gangs have targeted MSPs to gain access to corporate networks. Outsourcing IT administration can leave clients vulnerable when MSPs are given highly privileged access to customer systems. Remote management tools can also leave vendors open to attacks. It is imperative that MSP offerings and managed services provide a comprehensive and dedicated suite of technologies and skills to defend vendor security. A clear strategic approach for clients is necessary in order to address the difficulties associated with recent security threats.


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Conclusion:

This month, discussions regarding changes to company structures and operations have been prominent. An increased demand for transformation and internal enhancements has prompted managed service providers to further develop their firms. Streamlining and redeveloping customer products and offerings to meet specific targets has been a particular focus, as well as using predictive techniques and tools to respond to customer needs. In an effort to meet demands, service providers require transparency with customers, and improved offerings for their clients and business partners. This will assist vendors when delivering products, services and support to their customers, and drive their productivity and growth.


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Conclusion:

This month, discussions regarding an increased demand for disaster recovery, business continuity and work management solutions has been prominent. While the pandemic has triggered fundamental IT changes in an effort to resolve gaps and vulnerabilities, the accelerated rate of digital transformation and migration efforts has resulted in shortfalls when planning and establishing new work environments. Vendors have found difficulties maintaining business processes when unforeseen or extreme events occur. Combined with management solutions that cannot cater to all scenarios and a lack of clarity regarding customer responsibilities when responses to operational failures are required, difficulties have arisen for service providers. This requires vendors to provide more detailed and clearer disaster recovery and business continuity plans for customers, as well as specialised management tools and associated resources to implement solutions and responses. It is also critical for vendors to communicate with customers to facilitate the recovery of processes and ensure all business systems can be utilised in new and dispersed working environments.


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Conclusion

This month, discussions regarding project investment have been prominent. In particular, increases attributed to the changing threat environment and the constant emergence of new technologies. The resultant digital initiatives help create new opportunities or mitigate issues that can have a cascading and negative impact throughout operations. A continuous cycle of project investment is beneficial to improve business processes, resolve operational difficulties, as well as accelerate digital transformation. By delivering more efficient and innovative operations, companies can address new and shifting technology goals and expectations.


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Conclusion

This month, discussions regarding customer and employee experience solutions have been prominent. New remote working models have driven demand for products and services which support improved customer and employee experience solutions. Customer engagement services that can align business goals and needs with IT services and infrastructure are required to avoid the implementation of solutions that interfere with business processes. Data science tools, solutions and a combination of information from different sources can help vendors retain a focus on customer metrics that drive business growth. They also help to manage operations, supply chain issues and provide a greater understanding of changes underlying customer and employee behaviours.


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