Reimagining Global Engineering Services – a Hierarchy of Needs | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

Posted On May 15, 2017

The engineering services industry is one of the most interesting segments in the global services landscape today.

Compared to IT and business process services, the global engineering services market is much smaller, at approximately US$ 90 billion. It is also growing much faster, at approximately 15 percent per year.

The bulk of the growth is going to be driven by a need to reimagine global sourcing of engineering services, in line with the progression of enterprise digitalization strategies.

Everest Group believes there are four distinct objectives behind digital engineering strategies:

Hierarchy of Digital Engineering Services Demand

Global Sourcing of Digital Engineering Services

  1. Crushing spend: Arguably, there’s nothing new about leveraging a global sourcing model to reduce spend. However, the optimization levers go well beyond arbitrage, extending into the realms of analytics, the IoT, and automation. We are beginning to see enterprises contracting not just for cost savings, but for specific details around how cost savings are being achieved (e.g., success of automation projects, and ongoing commitment for automation.) Digitalization can often achieve breakthrough spend reduction outcomes (e.g., maintenance of oil refineries leveraging IoT technologies), well beyond the traditional arbitrage levers.
  2. Transforming experience in plants or mines: The experience is typically optimized across a bunch of typical considerations such as safety and accessibility, speed, and convenience. For instance, using design thinking principles in plant assembly line design, IoT implementation in mines for health and safety related use cases and medical device companies are using digitally reimagined techniques to create improved patient care outcomes.
  3. Accelerating product innovation: Sophisticated enterprises realize they can’t do it well enough or fast enough unless they embrace a broader innovation ecosystem. Globalization is a major driver of demand, as is the need to accelerate and contextualize cross-industry innovation. For instance, automotive OEMs realize they need to embrace a broader ecosystem of talent and technology providers to create differentiated infotainment offerings.</>li
  4. Disrupting the business model: Business model disruption comes about as a natural progression through the first three levels of the hierarchy, coupled with a disruptive idea. For instance, automotive companies the world over are waking up to the potential of a new business model that is built on asset sharing as opposed to asset ownership. Utility companies are creating parallel energy sharing models using blockchain. Medical diagnostic companies are reimagining their business model by experimenting to service-led, as-a-service models.

Everest Group recommends enterprises follow a “3E” approach to shaping their engineering services global sourcing strategy:

  • Evaluate the current state of your digital engineering journey against the strategic objectives of efficiency, experience, innovation, or disruption. The way you measure success in the short term should derive from where you are, and your longer-term strategy should stem from a broader industry vision.
  • Evolve the ER&D sourcing model in line with your aspirations. If you are trying to drive strategic business impact at the higher reaches of digital engineering maturity, you should be able to use objective data to benchmark the impact on business processes. For instance, your ER&D sourcing models should be linked with improvements in supply chain metrics, experience, accelerated time to market, or an increase in digital-led revenues.
  • Enrich the sources of engineering and R&D innovation by engaging with service providers, start-ups, academia, designers, social scientists, etc. Such an ecosystem should transcend the traditional enterprise-partner model, and requires a central orchestration function for scalability.

Visit our engineering services page for more insights on engineering services global sourcing strategies.

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