IT services

Businesses’ digital transformation is helping to bolster the IT services market where growth today, and no doubt into the medium term, stands at over 5% per annum. The number of new opportunities being opened up for the sector is matched only by the number of challenges it faces.

North America still by far the biggest market

The global IT services and software market grew by 5.7% in 2017, to reach 1.167 billion EUR. North America still accounts for half of global demand in terms of value (47.2%), in addition to enjoying a slightly higher than average growth rate. In Europe, and Asia/Pacific to a lesser degree, growth is proving more sluggish. From an industrial standpoint, we find a corollary in the still clear dominance of US companies, even if when we move down the rankings from the top three, we find a much wider array of nationalities. By its very essence, software is an international industry. Although naturally more local, the services industry has nonetheless given birth to global-scale corporations that tailor their global solutions to their customers’ specific needs. But this is also why the sector is still very fragmented, made up of thousands of companies working directly with a local clientele. In France for instance, the Syntec Numérique trade association has at least 2,000 members, most of whom are IT service providers and software publishers.

An industry sustained by the digital transformation of business

Around the globe, the sector is being driven by the digital transformation of the business community: information technologies, and particularly the service layer, are being used ever more widely to optimise and redesign solutions and business models, as well as the industrial structures that undergird them. Challenges are continually being pushed further, as digital makes its way into every aspect of a company, and as businesses are seeking more and more the ability to anticipate the future and have a clear view forward. For the short to medium term, PACS analysts have pinpointed ten key trends in the developments that will underpin the ongoing transformation of business. The first three have to do with improving processes: artificial intelligence and deep learning to help in decision-making, automation to optimise costs, and future IoT architecture for greater reactivity and flexibility. Three other trends concern security: multi-cloud or, rather, controlling potentially uncontrolled environments, cloud security issues, and using blockchain as a tool to protect exchanges (stream monitoring and traceability). One other isolated but equally complex trend is future mobility, which has its own set of technical (largely but not solely data-centric) and industrial issues to tackle. Finally, the last three dimensions pertain to simulation: digital twins, to monitor all stages of a product’s lifecycle in parallel, DevOps-as-a-Service for more agile product development and market release, and immersive experiences, notably through augmented reality.

Digital transformation undergirding IT services
Aside from the top three, trusted by American companies, the IT services and software industry is very geographically scattered
* fiscal year ended June 30, 2017
** fiscal year ended May 31, 2017
*** fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2016
**** fiscal year ended March 31, 2017
***** fiscal year ended Sep. 24, 2016
Source: IDATE DigiWorld