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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January saw a noticeable increase in tender offers and project announcements, and forecasts for the coming year. There has been a particular focus on growth in big data solutions, cloud computing and mobile devices. More interesting though were the high number of reports on criminal prosecutions, regulatory actions and internal and external protests in the IT industry, as well as commentary on potential problems. This indicates that people and companies are paying closer attention to their contracts and technologies, which is definitely a good thing where there are outsourcing agreements and a need to keep up to date on external forces that could possibly impact on arrangements.


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This month’s IT news has been especially interesting with a lot of discussion around vendor transformation, in particular, vendor restructures, business unit purchases and sales and market expansion. Vendors have also been discussing changes to their strategic focuses, business priorities and service offerings. These developments clearly reflect recent trends and growth forecasts in business demands for IT outsourcing with vendors rebalancing their offerings in an effort to cater to these demands. While this is nothing new the number of vendors making significant internal changes across so many areas has never been so visible indicating shifts in IT priorities and strategic focuses for businesses in general. These are issues that will be fascinating to observe as they unfold.


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This month, there has been a lot of discussion around mobile technologies and BYOD practices. What’s especially interesting is a shift in focus from actual technology adoption and reasons for growth in this area, to the need for systems and solutions that can support the adoption of these devices, including device management systems and applications, company protocols as well as user identification and control tools. This indicates a broader perspective of a growth area that goes down several levels to management solutions and company practices which does not typically happen in the industry. It also indicates this could be an emerging area for vendors supplying outsourced support systems, and device management services.


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October has seen a significant rise in IT outsourcing deals many of which are more interesting than usual and with a more noticeable engagement of smaller, very specialised IT service providers. This move confirms last year’s forecasts regarding the need for more focused services in light of a rise in the types of divergent technologies being deployed by companies, as well as system consolidation and the need for customisation. This month has also seen a lot of significant industry forecasts and the publication of interesting research results as the end of the year becomes closer.


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While there were no new projects or tenders announced this month, outsourcing deals are finally becoming a little more significant, with the Royal Adelaide Hospital network deal being especially interesting. The forecasts for outsourcing are currently excellent and there are grounds for optimism in the future.


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There were only a few deals this month with one very interesting contract between Perpetual and Fujitsu which came through towards the end of the month. This contract is a complete, infrastructure agreement, which used to be quite common but now really stands out in the current environment where customers prefer to outsource to multiple, smaller vendors. This agreement may indicate that the consolidated, single supplier arrangement could be coming back into popularity.


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While outsourcing deals were a little thin in July there was a lot of discussion around the risks for companies with “BYOD” policies, and the opportunities for service providers to manage solutions. The failure of Peru’s One Laptop per Child initiative (“OLPC”), which has been hampered with problems such as insufficient skills and school resources to make use of the computers, highlights problems that arise when there is a serious mismatch between ideas, strategies and reality. This is a common problem with outsourcing arrangements in general Illustrating that great initiatives and solid implementation plans are not sufficient if external influences, such as the human element, are not taken into consideration.


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This month’s deals were fairly thin but tenders and project announcements were up. More interesting this month was the chatter centred around BYOD, and other new technologies that are resulting in diversified environments and management and security vulnerabilities arising because of a lack of planning and experience with these technologies.These types of environments are expected to result in new outsourcing service offerings for vendors to take control of areas like mobile device management


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The major interest this month has related to revenue growth for IT service providers. Global and Australian figures are high, and the flow-on effects were clear in the news. Service providers have been announcing new service offerings, strengths in different areas, company expansion both locally and globally, and revenue increases and investment in expanding and improving business operations. Overall it seems there will be some interesting times ahead as business growth impacts on outsourcing industry practices and trends.


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Deals have increased this month, but more importantly, the deals are more interesting! Increased outsourcing in areas that support consumer-orientated functions (as opposed to just infrastructure or business support deals) is especially clear this month.


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Deals were light but other news was especially interesting this month. The standout issue seems to be the IT skills shortage (again!), but the discussions about the shortage seem to be expanding into areas such as hiring practices, potential resolutions etc, indicating people are considering the issue carefully, with commentary going down a few levels. There also seemed to be a high level of CIO and CTO appointments this month. The most interesting topic was the Huawei exclusion from NBN bids – lots of debate (and allegations) on that one, everyone seemed to have an opinion!


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This month we have seen a lot of commentary on the e-Health records initiative, with industry bodies (medical, privacy and software) becoming quite vocal about expected launch date delays and inability to reach technical objectives, while government bodies responsible for the system refute the claims! More significant this month is the rise in outsourcing contracts and proposed tenders and even better, more interesting contracts – finally!


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There have been no IT deals of great interest this month which is to be expected so early in the calendar year. As with any major government IT program, now that the launch of the federal government’s e-health record system is being ramped up, reports and debates on the system including any setbacks and flaws have increased this month and will probably keep doing so until July. Forecasts are levelling off, but there are interesting comments on predictions for the outsourcing landscape by the IAOP and Outsourcing Centre and it will be of further interest to follow developments over the next twelve months.


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Deals during the month have been comparatively unexciting, with a real focus on analysis of major issues in 2011 and forecasts for 2012. What is a little disturbing and confusing about this month’s news items were the Federal Government announcements about areas for planned IT spending cuts, and increases. It is shaving costs on some essential IT (such as equipment upgrade and maintenance) and cutting vendor panels and new projects while it continues to invest huge amounts into spending on IT for students. While this appears to be a good idea in theory the value of diverting this spending may be questionable. The perceived need to get technology into student’s hands, within what is a tight timeframe, could be mostly for government PR. However this rush could lead to an inability to negotiate the best deals in terms of price and reduced leverage to procure quality items.


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