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COVID-19 Boosts UK Outsourcing, Hybrid IT Investment as Companies Seek Efficiency, Digital Transformation

ISG Provider Lens™ report finds enterprises optimizing IT assets, costs, productivity and capacity with new cloud solutions, services for long-term impact

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--$III #Colocation--Enterprises in the U.K. have accelerated their adoption of hybrid IT solutions and services to prepare for the long-term economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report published today by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

The 2021 ISG Provider LensNext-Gen Private/Hybrid Cloud – Data Center Services & Solutions report for the U.K. finds companies are implementing hybrid IT solutions, along with IT operations led by artificial intelligence (AI), to optimize IT assets, costs, productivity and capacity and reduce short-term risks. This trend is part of an ongoing expansion of outsourcing in the U.K., ISG says.

“U.K. enterprises are turning to IT outsourcing to maximize both growth and productivity for a transformed post-pandemic economy,” said Steve Hall, president, EMEA, and global head of digital solutions for ISG. “Companies have started re-evaluating the balance between the IT resources they keep in-house and those they seek from partners.”

The impact of COVID-19 has put more pressure on CIOs and chief technology officers to deliver digital transformation and cost reduction, reversing a moderate drop in IT outsourcing deals across verticals in the U.K. over the last five years, the report says. By a wide margin, cost optimization is the main reason U.K. companies use outsourcing, according to ISG. Business transformation and higher service quality are the next-biggest factors.

In the wake of the pandemic, companies in the travel, hospitality and retail sectors are forming new outsourcing partnerships and renewing existing deals with an eye to cutting costs, the report says. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical, technology, utility and other enterprises continue to invest in digital capabilities and cloud, network and data operations to support artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Enterprises migrating to hybrid clouds can face significant challenges, beginning with integration of current and legacy systems, the report says. Other concerns may include security, privacy, governance and internal management of cloud providers and solutions. In some companies, a shortage of knowledge and skills holds up implementation of hybrid IT services, leading the organization to look outside for help in revamping business and IT operations.

Many U.K. companies have implemented software-defined data centers and hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) in the past few years, often using HCI for mission-critical applications, particularly those developed with container services for cloud-native applications, ISG finds. In addition, more enterprises now rely on colocation centers as an extension of their business and as a less expensive alternative to in-house facilities. The U.K. has the largest and fastest-growing colocation market in Europe, dominated by sites owned by hyperscale providers such as Google Cloud, AWS and Microsoft, and it is expected to grow by double digits over the next three years.

The 2021 ISG Provider LensNext-Gen Private/Hybrid Cloud – Data Center Services & Solutions report for the U.K. evaluates the capabilities of 62 providers across five quadrants: Managed Services for Large Accounts, Managed Services for Midmarket, Managed Hosting for Large Accounts, Managed Hosting for Midmarket and Colocation Services.

The report names BT as a Leader in four quadrants and Ensono, Fujitsu and Rackspace Technology as Leaders in three quadrants each. Atos, Claranet, IBM and T-Systems are named as Leaders in two quadrants each. The report names Accenture, CANCOM, Capgemini, Computacenter, Digital Realty, DXC Technology, Equinix, Global Switch, HCL, Hexaware, TCS, Telehouse, Unisys, Vodafone and Wipro as Leaders in one quadrant each.

In addition, CANCOM, Cognizant, Infosys, Lumen, Mindtree, Rackspace Technology and Sungard AS are named as Rising Stars—companies with a “promising portfolio” and “high future potential” by ISG’s definition—in one quadrant each.

Customized versions of the report are available from Fujitsu and Hexaware.

The 2021 ISG Provider LensNext-gen Private/Hybrid Cloud – Data Center Services & Solutions report for the U.K. 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


Press Contacts:

Will Thoretz, ISG
+1 203 517 3119

Kate Hartley, Carrot Communications for ISG
+44 (0)20 3457 6403

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Last Updated: 01-Jul-2021