Category: Blog

Promoting Advanced Technologies at COP28 Can Propel Immediate Energy Optimization Action | Blog

As nations gather at COP28, prioritizing technology-driven optimization can pave the way for sustainable energy progression. Explore how advanced energy monitoring and optimization technologies can help enterprises transition from fossil fuels to renewables.

Note, this blog is part of Everest Group’s continued coverage of COP28. For our analysis of the first two days of the United Nations Climate Change conference, see our prior posting.

COP28 marks a crucial moment for discussions on moving from fossil fuels to renewables. This year’s meeting is especially important as nations reveal their plans for tackling climate change. The urgency is clear, highlighted by the Global Stocktake revealing the world is falling short of the Paris Agreement goals. COP28 is a key moment for the energy sector, offering an opportunity for governments to make bold commitments and speed up the transition.

In this context, enterprises worldwide are increasingly recognizing the imperative to transition towards renewable energy sources, driven by both environmental concerns and a growing commitment to sustainable practices. The appeal of renewables, such as solar and wind power, lies in their potential to mitigate climate change and reduce dependence on finite fossil fuels. However, despite this burgeoning enthusiasm, enterprises encounter a myriad of constraints in their quest for increased renewable energy adoption. Let’s explore this further.

Enterprises face these major obstacles in realizing their ambitious energy transition agenda:

  • High initial investment costs: The transition to renewable energy often involves significant upfront capital expenditures for the installation of solar panels, wind turbines, or other clean energy infrastructure. Many enterprises, particularly smaller businesses, find it challenging to justify these initial costs despite the long-term benefits
  • Intermittency and reliability concerns: Some renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, are intermittent and dependent on weather conditions. This unpredictability can lead to concerns about the reliability of energy supply, especially for businesses that require a continuous and stable power source
  • Regulatory hurdles and policy uncertainty: Enterprises operating in different regions face varying regulatory frameworks and policies related to renewable energy. Inconsistent or unclear regulations can create uncertainty and hinder long-term planning for energy transition strategies
  • Limited availability of suitable infrastructure: The implementation of renewable energy projects often requires ample space and specific geographical conditions. Finding suitable land or locations for solar farms, wind turbines, or other renewable facilities can be a logistical challenge, particularly in densely populated areas where land is scarce or expensive

Amidst these challenges, the shift from fossil fuels to renewables finds a bridge in the optimization and monitoring of existing energy usage through advanced technologies. Leading enterprises have started joining forces with tech players and service providers to track and enhance energy efficiency in operations, paving the way for a sustainable energy transition.

Despite a booming market in sustainability enablement services offering advanced energy-efficient solutions, enterprises hesitate due to cost concerns. Yet, key players are actively investing in cutting-edge technologies to drive energy efficiency for their clients.

Three standout solutions have emerged at the forefront of major players’ sustainability services portfolios:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT)-based energy monitoring: Revolutionizing energy optimization, IoT and AI-based systems offer real-time insights into consumption patterns. Smart sensors and meters seamlessly integrate into a connected network, continuously collecting detailed data. AI algorithms analyze this information, unveiling inefficiencies, anomalies, and optimization opportunities. The power of predictive analytics forecasts future energy demands, enabling proactive measures to mitigate inefficiencies and cut overall consumption. Infosys Energy Management Solution and TCS Clever Energy are examples of energy monitoring and tracking systems
  • AI-driven predictive maintenance: With artificial intelligence, predictive maintenance transforms energy optimization by foreseeing and addressing equipment issues before performance impact. Historical and real-time data analysis allows AI algorithms to predict faults, facilitating timely interventions that prevent unexpected downtime and associated energy inefficiencies. This data-driven, proactive approach reshapes traditional maintenance paradigms, significantly contributing to enhanced energy efficiency and operational excellence. Capgemini’s predictive asset maintenance services and Accenture’s intelligent asset management services are examples of AI-driven predictive maintenance solutions for enterprises
  • Occupancy and building management with AI: AI-driven systems for occupancy and building management contribute to energy efficiency by intelligently regulating lighting, heating, and cooling based on real-time occupancy data. Smart sensors and AI algorithms learn patterns of occupancy, preferences, and environmental conditions to optimize energy usage in commercial buildings. Infosys’ Smart Spaces offering focuses on energy efficiency for commercial buildings, data centers, and workspaces. Hitachi’s Intelligent Building Management System also focuses on making buildings more energy efficient

Service providers have started crafting umbrella brands for sustainability services, with energy monitoring taking center stage in their portfolios. While energy monitoring and reporting systems are branded as niche sustainability solutions, the environmental impact of solutions like predictive maintenance and smart building management systems are significant. As enterprises intensify net-zero commitments, we foresee a surge in demand for these solutions, with a special focus on sustainability. We are optimistic about the market, with a tinge of prudence.

While sophisticated energy monitoring and optimization solutions are plentiful, enterprises hesitate to invest in sustainability technologies due to perceived high costs and short-term return concerns. However, service providers are strategically bundling sustainability benefits with operational optimization engagements, along with providing niche energy-related solutions to enterprises.

Everest Group anticipates a surge in the energy-efficiency solutions market within the next two to three years. The forthcoming focus on energy efficiency at COP28 could serve as the catalyst needed to propel this market into flourishing growth.

To discuss further, reach out to Rita Soni, [email protected], Arpita Dwivedi, [email protected], Meenakshi Narayanan, [email protected], or Ambika Kini, [email protected].

To learn more about the progress made in 2023 to build a more sustainable future and key takeaways from the COP28 conference, watch our LinkedIn Live session, Building a Sustainable Future: Reflections on COP28 and Insights for 2024.

Key Issues Affecting the Effectiveness of Generative AI | Blog

Generative AI seems so compelling. However, it carries significant issues that will likely cause initiatives to fail or substantially underperform against their potential. This blog presents information about several issues. We will look first at a key issue causing a lot of resistance to generative AI adoption: the technology presents a probabilistic answer as though it is a deterministic answer. This blog will help your company better understand where and how to apply generative AI.

Read more in my blog on Forbes

A Comprehensive Approach to Meeting the Talent Demands of Sustainability Services | Blog

As the sustainability sector rapidly expands, the demand for skilled professionals is soaring. Read on to learn about the skill requirements needed in the sustainability service market and how to bridge the talent gap.

In recent years, the world has witnessed a remarkable surge in awareness regarding environmental responsibility and sustainability. This shift in mindset has fueled the growth of the sustainability services market as organizations increasingly recognize the need to adopt eco-friendly practices.

Yet, as the sustainability sector continues to evolve, service providers confront a formidable challenge in the form of a critical shortage of skilled talent. In this blog, we will delve into the pressing talent-related issues faced by sustainability service providers and explore the innovative ways they are addressing these deficiencies through avenues like strategic hiring, acqui-hiring, and upskilling.

The diverse skill set required

The field of sustainability services presents a multifaceted landscape of skills and expertise that are in high demand. For instance, service providers in this sector require professionals who can proficiently handle advanced data analytics to assess environmental impacts. A comprehensive understanding of sustainability reporting frameworks is also imperative, as is the ability to conduct climate scenario analysis and risk assessment.

In essence, the diversity of skill sets required encompasses environmental science, economics, engineering, and a commitment to sustainability that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Challenges in finding talent

As service providers look to recruit skilled sustainability experts, they are finding themselves up against significant roadblocks, including:

  • A limited pool of professionals: Sustainability services is a relatively new field, and professionals with the required experience and expertise are scarce
  • An evolving landscape: The sustainability sector is continuously evolving, with new technologies and frameworks emerging regularly. This makes it challenging to find candidates who can keep up with the rapidly changing landscape
  • Cross-disciplinary requirements: The interdisciplinary nature of sustainability work makes it difficult to find candidates with expertise in all the required areas

Addressing the talent gap

Bridging the talent gap for sustainability services requires a multifaceted approach that encompasses strategic recruitment and upskilling.

  1. Strategic hiring

Sustainability service providers are looking for candidates who may not have a perfect match of skills but possess a strong foundation and are open to learning and adapting. Most of the sustainability professionals being hired hold a master’s degree, with almost 78% coming from a STEM background.

Everest Group’s GREEN framework provides a comprehensive approach to talent development in sustainability services, addressing geographic considerations, regulatory expertise, educational diversity, practical experience, and technological innovation to meet the increasing demand in this field.

Everest Group’s GREEN framework

Service providers like Accenture, which have an aggressive inorganic growth philosophy, focus more on acqui-hiring, the practice of acquiring smaller companies primarily to gain access to their talent. It allows providers to quickly expand their workforce and access niche expertise.

However, prioritizing upskilling as a long-term strategy emerges as a more effective approach for tackling the talent gap.

  1. Upskilling the workforce

Service providers have a multitude of options to support their employees in their upskilling endeavors. These include motivating employees to pursue external certifications, offering internally designed courses, and tying up with learning and development providers.

    • Industry-accredited certifications – Sustainability certifications are a testament to a thorough grasp of pertinent industry benchmarks, elevating professionals’ standing within their respective domains. The selection of a certification largely depends on the particular domain of sustainability and the career aspirations of the individual. These certifications could be general sustainability and climate professional certifications, sustainability reporting courses, energy-related certifications, green building certifications, etc.
    • Internal courses – Service providers often develop an internal catalog of courses to educate their workforce on sustainability and related aspects. These courses can be aimed at executive leadership, normal workforce, or both. Deloitte offers a curriculum of sustainability training courses available to all its employees virtually and through the network of Deloitte Universities
    • Collaboration with educational institutions – By working closely with universities and colleges, they can shape curricula to align with industry requirements, ensuring that graduates are better prepared for the workforce. These partnerships also offer internships and co-op programs that provide students with hands-on experience and job opportunities upon graduation. Capgemini Invent, for example, has leveraged the ESSEC Business School for various courses, including one on the foundations of sustainable transformation

After creating the talent pool required, building the ideal organizational structure becomes imperative for maximizing the potential of the sustainability enablement services talent. The organization can streamline business initiatives by aligning roles, responsibilities, and workflows, enabling seamless collaboration among experts from diverse backgrounds.

To explore the above strategies in detail, check out our viewpoint: A Provider’s Playbook to Bridging the Sustainability Skills Gap. This report sheds light on the sourcing, skilling, and organizational structuring strategies tailored to the unique needs of service providers in the sustainability space. To discuss further or for inquiries, please reach out to Rita Soni, Principal Analyst, Sustainability Research and Impact Sourcing, [email protected], Arpita Dwivedi, Practice Director, Sustainability and Talent, [email protected], or Ambika Kini, Senior Analyst, Sustainability Technology and Services, [email protected].

To hear our takeaways from Cop28 watch our LinkedIn Live session, Building a Sustainable Future: Reflections on COP28 and Insights for 2024.

Navigating COP28: Insights on the Evolving Landscape of Sustainability | Blog

As we stand on the brink of COP28 (November 30 to December 12, 2023), Everest Group’s technology service provider clients and industry leaders are poised to play a pivotal role in advancing the goals set forth by the Paris Agreement. In this blog, we bring you insights from Everest Group’s sustainability analysts on their hopes and expectations for this crucial global event.

As the world anticipates COP28, Everest Group’s insights shed light on the evolving sustainability landscape. Nothing could underpin the importance more than the fact that the first Global Stocktake (GST) of the implementation of the Paris Agreement will conclude at COP28, the mid-point in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs, including Goal 13 (climate action). We will explore key expectations that underscore the crucial role of technology service providers in meeting the objectives of the Paris Agreement, which we hope will be central in the COP28 deliberations.

As a reminder, there was a broad global consensus that COP28 will focus on four significant paradigm shifts:

  • Fast-tracking the energy transition and slashing emissions before 2030
  • Transforming climate finance, by delivering on old promises and setting the framework for a new deal on finance
  • Putting nature, people, lives, and livelihoods at the heart of climate action
  • Mobilizing for the most inclusive COP ever

With this context, we look forward to progress on five key topics:

  1. Digital transformation for sustainability:

The role of digital transformation in achieving sustainability goals is critical. Our research highlights the transformative power of technology in reducing carbon footprints, enhancing energy efficiency, and driving sustainable practices across sectors as diverse as oil & gas, banking & finance, and manufacturing.

This US$50 billion+ market also has a profound impact on sustainability beyond operational efficiency. In the realm of supply chain management, advanced technologies such as blockchain enable transparent and traceable sourcing, ensuring ethical practices and minimizing environmental impact. The integration of smart grids and renewable energy solutions empowers organizations to embrace cleaner, more sustainable energy sources. Additionally, data-driven insights derived from advanced analytics not only optimize resource allocation but also inform strategic decision-making for long-term sustainability. As businesses navigate a rapidly changing landscape, the fusion of digital innovation and sustainability becomes an integral strategy for fostering resilience and creating a paradigm where economic growth and environmental stewardship coalesce for a more sustainable future.

While optimization-driven engagements have continued to be the major theme, with almost one-third of the deals signed in 2023 (YTD), decarbonization and ESG data monitoring and reporting have also gained a lot of traction for the buyer side.

  1. Emerging technologies and climate action:

The intersection of emerging technologies and climate action is paramount. Insights emphasize the potential of artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and other cutting-edge technologies in creating innovative solutions for climate change mitigation. These technologies facilitate real-time monitoring, enabling swift responses to environmental shifts. AI-driven predictive models enhance climate resilience, while blockchain ensures transparent carbon trading.

Generative AI has been the talk of the town lately, and providers have not shied away from experimenting with gen AI use cases in sustainability either. The most common use cases are around rapid design, prototyping, and automation and streamlining of manual processes. There is immense potential in these emerging use cases to transform the way we look at sustainability engagements.

  1. Resilient and sustainable business models:

Integrating sustainability into business models must be the way of the future. Our research emphasizes the need for resilient and sustainable business models that align with environmental objectives, paving the way for discussions on these models at COP28.

Sustainability-driven innovation in product development helps enterprises increase market responsiveness and differentiated brand value. Products marketed as sustainable now hold a 17.0% market share, with significant growth during the pandemic, as per the NYU Stern Sustainable Market Index.

  1. Collaboration and ecosystem partnerships:

Collaboration is fundamental in scaling up sustainable initiatives. We have seen the importance of ecosystem partnerships, bringing together governments, businesses, and technology service providers to drive collective action.

This is a theme prominent not just at an enterprise level, but also at an international level. For example, the EU pledged €12 million in grants to support Kenya’s green hydrogen industry.

  1. Regulatory framework convergence:

We anticipate significant implications for the evolving regulatory frameworks surrounding sustainability.

Standardizing environmental guidelines aids businesses in navigating complex landscapes and investors in making decisions based on transparent and comparable disclosures. Industry associations like the International Council on Mining and Metals, the World Gold Council, the Copper Mark, and the Mining Association of Canada are moving to develop a responsible mining code to define one minimum global standard for the industry’s environmental impact, human rights, and due diligence.

The discussions at COP28 are expected to influence how governments, industry consortia, and businesses approach environmental goals, potentially shaping more streamlined regulations and standards.

Everest Group is cautiously optimistic

The negotiations will likely provide a platform for technology service providers to contribute their expertise in navigating the complex interplay between sustainability and technology. As Everest Group’s areas of research align with the ongoing discussions, we anticipate a nuanced understanding of how regulatory changes may impact the adoption of digital solutions, emerging technologies, and sustainable business practices.

COP28 represents a crucial juncture in the global pursuit for sustainability, and Everest Group’s research positions technology service providers at the forefront of this transformative journey. As the negotiations unfold, the impact on regulatory frameworks and the collaborative efforts of governments, businesses, and technology providers will shape the trajectory towards achieving the goals set by the Paris Agreement. Everest Group remains committed to providing insights that navigate the evolving landscape of sustainability, guiding organizations toward a more resilient and environmentally conscious future. To discuss further reach out to Rita Soni, Principal Analyst, Sustainability Research and Impact Sourcing, [email protected], Arpita Dwivedi, Practice Director, Sustainability and Talent, [email protected], Ambika Kini, Senior Analyst, Sustainability Technology and Services, [email protected], or Meenakshi Narayanan, Senior Analyst, Sustainability Technology and Services, [email protected].

Don’t miss our LinkedIn Live session, Building a Sustainable Future: Reflections on COP28 and Insights for 2024.

The Battle Unfolds: MGAs as the Next Frontier for InsurTechs, Services, and Technology Providers | Blog

The Managing General Agent (MGA) sector is a bright spot in a turbulent insurance market. Technology investments and strategic partnerships will be key to redefining risk and driving innovation for these specialized insurance agents/brokers. Read on to learn more about the opportunities that await MGAs, or contact us to discuss further.

Despite the economic turmoil, global instability, prevalent inflation, and a volatile year shaking the insurance industry, faith in the MGA sector has not wavered. In this challenging environment, MGAs need to demonstrate steadfast strategic underwriting prowess, build a solid business case heavily focused on cost optimization, and exhibit excellent data and engineering capabilities.

Increasing demand for specialized products, the need to underwrite newer business lines, and a push for efficiency are driving insurers to build relationships with MGAs – all suggesting the upcoming years could be a golden era for MGAs.

The data provides a compelling sense that MGAs have a bright future ahead. Conning’s analysis of statutory filings found that premiums generated by MGAs for US insurance companies grew at a startling rate of 27% in 2022. Interest in the MGA market also has significantly rekindled in Europe and the US, gradually garnering prominence and capturing interest among carriers. Everest Group’s research shows just about half of the major US-based property and casualty (P&C) insurers utilize MGAs to cover specialized risk.

Unleashing the potential of technology

In this era of expanding MGA channels and relations, forward-looking enterprises have already made significant strides toward capitalizing on technology solutions. By strategically investing, they are enhancing the overall experience for agents, brokers, and policyholders. Simultaneously, they are seeking to enhance operational efficiencies and carve out a larger market share. Nevertheless, this merely marks the inception of a far-reaching goal, as there remains a multitude of tasks to be undertaken to fulfill the above-stated aims.

To support their vision, MGAs need modern, flexible technology that enhances customer experience and increases new business and retention. Additionally, these agents require a well-integrated and comprehensive partner ecosystem that can provide support while augmenting technical capabilities.

The prevailing economic sentiment has accelerated the trend toward investing in technology and data in more impactful ways. Regardless of MGA type, technology serves as a driving force to propel growth and enable innovation.

Clyde & Co research highlights that MGAs’ willingness to invest in technology far surpasses their insurer counterparts, with 80% of MGAs investing in technology or InsurTech in the past year, compared to only 55% of carriers. Automation, digital platforms, and data and analytics are the most prominent areas that have garnered considerable investment attention during this transformation era.

Notably, a growing number of MGAs have harnessed the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to optimize operational performance. Specifically, they are using these technologies to streamline and advance capabilities and underwriting processes, assess risk, and handle claims.

Digital platforms have assumed a ubiquitous presence within the MGA community, facilitating seamless engagement with customers, brokers, and carriers. They also empower MGAs to extend online quoting capabilities, expedite policy issuance, and streamline claims handling digitally.

Data and analytics play a pivotal role in delivering insights that can potentially unlock boundless possibilities in MGA’s operations. This intelligence can help them track specialized and upcoming risks that need attention, identify business opportunities for carrier partners, and develop more responsive and accurate pricing models. Additionally, these solutions can allow carriers to underwrite risks at higher margins, as well as offer more personalized coverage for policyholders.

Some examples include:

  • ZestyAI, an AI-powered specialist provider of climate and risk analytics solutions, partnered with Coterie Insurance, a focused MGA, to provide instant quotes and issue small business insurance policies leveraging data and AI
  • Gallagher recently partnered with Novidea to transform its services for a specialty client base and execute and tailor its broking cloud-based data platform to automate processes. The platform will save time, create efficiency, and turn data into actionable insights

MGAs: a low-hanging opportunity for the ecosystem partners

Platform and technology partners, as well as various InsurTechs and low-code/no-code providers, are making strides toward building dedicated playbooks and products to assist MGAs. Service provider partners have heavily invested in developing broader capabilities and solutions to tap into the growing technology adoption demands from MGAs.

Various platform providers such as Socotra, Majesco, Novidea, Cogitate, Insurity, and Instanda are launching cloud and Application Programming Interface (API)-based dedicated core platforms for MGAs. These platforms will help MGAs strengthen relationships with insurers, expand distribution, leverage a vast collection of third-party data and microservices for underwriting and customer experience, as well as achieve scalability. The solutions also will quickly offer products for complex insurance lines such as general liability, physical damage, auto liability, cargo insurance, and insurance for complex terrain or hard-to-underwrite commercial property.

Let’s take a look at the key strategic priorities for MGAs and an illustrative provider landscape in the exhibit below:

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Emerging risks fuel further tech investments and partnerships to drive innovation and redefine risk management

The evolving risk landscape and uncertainty are major drivers for MGAs to invest in data-driven technology tools because the current models may be inadequate for the growing number, types, and complexity of risks.

While MGAs have the expertise and models to evaluate risk, the industry is failing to capture the full spectrum of potential losses, and simultaneously capture and analyze newer data sources. The historical loss data that these traditional models rely on is less useful for projecting future losses, giving rise to the need for fostering strategic collaborations with third-party data intelligence and analytics partners, as well as other technology players.

We are seeing increased traction from the MGA sector in the following product and risk segments:

  • Cyber risk: The lack of historical data and inability to accurately price cyber risks remain a key challenge for traditional MGAs, leading to increasing loss ratios and declining profitability
    • Many InsurTechs dedicatedly track this space such as Coinnect, helping loss adjusters, brokers, MGAs, insurers, and reinsurers handle cyber risk
    • They offer a cloud platform and APIs and leverage proprietary cyber intelligence data to assess, mitigate, and respond to cyber risks of prospects and insured clients
  • Excess & Surplus (E&S): The inherent uncertainty of a changing environment, which leads to extreme climate events, is a major driver of premium growth in excess & surplus (E&S) lines. According to an AM Best Market Segment Report, the direct premium for E&S lines grew by 25% to a record US$82 billion in 2021
  • Parametric insurance: Parametric insurance demand also is on the upswing, requiring MGAs to pay attention and substantially invest in cutting-edge technology to develop relevant and targeted solutions

Forward-looking MGAs are progressively seeking to embrace cloud-based solutions and develop niche and sophisticated underwriting expertise as they shift their focus toward streamlining operations, driving cost efficiencies, and improving their ability for advanced risk modeling and resilience.

The MGA market is undergoing substantial transformations fueled by the desire to invest in tech, data, and AI to build robust risk selection and underwriting capabilities and foster good carrier relationships. Elevating the emphasis on bolstering the partnership ecosystem will be important, fueled by prevailing market dynamics, including faster speed-to-market, higher profitability, and maximizing value.

At the same time, focusing on emerging risk categories, growth in E&S lines, and high parametric insurance demand has created an urgency for MGAs to build close relationships with InsurTechs, carriers, service providers, platform and technology providers. This strategy will help MGAs drive value creation, capitalize on new opportunities, innovate and launch newer products to the market, and, ultimately, deliver exceptional value.

To discuss this topic further, please reach out to [email protected] and [email protected].

Don’t miss our annual webinar, Key Issues 2024: Creating Accelerated Value in a Dynamic World, to learn the major concerns, expectations, and trends for 2024.

Tech Services Forecast For 2024 | Blog

In every quarter in 2023, the tech services environment became increasingly more difficult due to a growing more-for-less mindset instead of a build-for-the-future orientation. The discretionary spend component of the market largely evaporated. Here is an analysis of whether that will continue to affect the tech services market in 2024 and what it means for companies’ spending decisions.

Read more in my blog on Forbes

Choosing the Right ServiceNow Model for your Organization: Comparing Shared and Dedicated Instances | Blog

Deciding between ServiceNow’s dedicated and shared instances can be challenging for organizations. By comparing the options against seven key parameters ranging from organizational size and business process complexity to the cost of ownership and customization options, enterprises can make a well-informed decision. Continue reading to learn more. 

For assistance with benchmarking the ServiceNow implementation and managed services effort and price, contact us at [email protected].

In recent years, ServiceNow has significantly expanded its portfolio to move beyond IT Service Management (ITSM) and IT Operations Management (ITOM) to offer comprehensive enterprise solutions that help clients drive business growth, improve employee efficiency and productivity, increase resilience, and enhance customer experience.

The ServiceNow platform represents a major organizational cost that includes securing the platform license, initial implementation, and maintenance. As cost optimization becomes increasingly important, many enterprises considering ServiceNow adoption grapple with deciding between a dedicated instance model or a shared instance model to save cost.

To make an informed decision, let’s first understand what defines the shared instance and dedicated instance of ServiceNow. By comparing certain key parameters, organizations can choose the most suitable option.

  • Shared instance here refers to the managed services provider’s (MSP’s) domain-separated ServiceNow offering. It is a multi-tenant environment that is shared among multiple customers of SP (Service Provider), with each customer having a separate domain of their own
  • Dedicated instance implies a single-tenant environment used exclusively by one customer. This means that all the infrastructure resources, databases, and application processes are reserved solely for individual customer use

Based on our research and discussions with industry leaders, we recommend enterprises consider the following seven key parameters when evaluating which model to choose in adopting the ServiceNow platform:

Key parameters Shared instance Dedicated instance
Organizational size Better fit for small to mid-size organizations with simple and straightforward requirements Large enterprises with varied requirements, needs, and complex operations benefit more from dedicated instance
Business process complexity More suited for organizations that have simple workflows and are looking to implement basic ITSM processes like incident, problem, and change management More ideal for organizations with complex workflows and ever-changing business processes and integration requirements
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

(Inclusive of licensing, implementation, ongoing maintenance, upgrades, etc.)

Low TCO as the cost associated with setting up, maintaining, and managing domain separated instance is spread across multiple customers Large enterprises with dedicated budgets for these initiatives usually prefer this higher TCO option
Customization and flexibility Minimum customization is possible on shared instance   as this is a standard one-size-fits-all offering from the MSP Offers the highest level of flexibility, customization, and personalization tailored to the organization’s needs
Privacy, security, and compliance Due to the shared nature of the instance, data segregation and protection measures need to be very well configured to achieve security and ensure privacy

 

Dedicated instance is solely for one enterprise, and the control elements are assigned to that enterprise alone

From a compliance point of view, enterprises operating in highly regulated industries usually prefer this model

Time to floor This plug-and-play model allows enterprises to quickly onboard Organizations can efficiently transition onto the ServiceNow platform, but making the platform live and operational takes some time
Scalability and future vision Scalability can be limited for any particular enterprise as multiple customers share the same resources It can easily be expanded to accommodate an enterprise’s changing user base, service offerings, and resource requirements

Even though the shared instance model can cost 35-75% less (as shown below) based on our research, price should not be the only consideration when implementing a ServiceNow solution. Enterprises should consider all the parameters discussed and take a holistic view.

Picture1 4

Many enterprises struggle with choosing between the shared or dedicated instance model, as both have their own set of advantages and drawbacks. While each organization has unique requirements, considering the key parameters outlined above will help enterprises select the best setup for their needs and move them in the right direction.

For a more detailed analysis and assistance with benchmarking the ServiceNow implementation and managed services effort and price, please reach out to [email protected].

Also, don’t miss our annual webinar, Key Issues 2024: Creating Accelerated Value in a Dynamic World, to learn the major concerns, expectations, and trends for 2024.

A Delicate Balancing Act: Maximizing Cloud Value from AWS | Blog

With cloud spending under scrutiny, generating the most value from AWS investments while still delivering the innovation enterprises demand is crucial. To achieve their goals through AWS, enterprises need to consider strategic alignment, cost optimization, technical implementation, organizational readiness, and continuous improvement. Learn the key questions stakeholders should ask when evaluating their AWS cloud strategy in this blog.

As AWS re:Invent 2023 rapidly nears, cautious optimism has replaced the blissful ignorance that once characterized enterprise cloud spending. Enterprises, for justifiable reasons, are scrutinizing every dollar allocated to the cloud, and cost optimization is leading conversations across the board.

This muted atmosphere has slowed AWS’ revenue growth in recent quarters, reflecting the broader enterprise cloud adoption slowdown. In the third quarter of 2023, AWS reported US$23.1 billion in revenue, up 12% year-on-year, but the growth rate was below the company’s typical historical increases in the mid-20 to low-30% range.

Despite these cloud spending challenges, Everest Group research shows that enterprises still understand the need to innovate and expand their operations through cloud-driven digital transformation. Amidst prevailing economic and geopolitical uncertainties, enterprises are seeking to innovate and grow by carefully evaluating their cloud strategy.

The duality of cautious spending sentiment and continuously evolving customer expectations facing digital businesses has brought AWS to a crucial juncture. As Amazon’s Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky pointed out during the third quarter 2023 earnings call, this has put the division in “a delicate situation.” Let’s explore how AWS is managing this.

AWS helps enterprises differentiate through innovation and partnership

AWS continues to be the leading cloud service provider, with a strong record of innovation, a large and loyal customer base, and a vast and active developer community.

In our research, enterprises have highlighted these key AWS differentiations:

  • Continued investments in strengthening IaaS offerings: Since its inception, enterprises have chosen AWS IaaS offerings for their comprehensiveness and reliability across foundational infrastructure components such as compute, network, and storage. Its secure, scalable, and global infrastructure services, along with its comprehensive capacity management tools, have made it a strong enterprise choice. Additionally, AWS’ continued innovations in building next-gen silicon chips help it support enterprises with critical Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) and high-performance computing (HPC) workloads
  • End-to-end data on cloud capabilities: With the renewed focus on data to drive AI’s future, enterprises are looking for data integration, governance, and analytics capabilities to address data privacy challenges, improve customer experience, and drive business growth. With offerings such as Amazon Aurora, DynamoDB, and RedShift, AWS dominates enterprise adoption trends for cloud-native data platforms and data analytics. Further, AWS has also become relevant for enterprises seeking to accurately address data regulation and compliance demands
  • Comprehensive partner ecosystem and AWS Marketplace popularity: The AWS partner ecosystem is a comprehensive and ever-evolving network of system integrators (SIs) and technology vendors. As a result of its strong partnerships with technology vendors and tiered classification of SIs, enterprises find AWS beneficial for identifying and enabling successful integrations across different platforms and tools through a tripartite engagement model. AWS also provides an alternate way to engage with multiple system integrators and independent software vendors (ISV) through its extremely popular AWS Marketplace to enable cost savings and procurement efficiencies, reduce licensing costs, and fulfill enterprise AWS commit

Enterprises need AWS to solve for transparency and empower cloud value

AWS’ revenue growth decline can be attributed to several factors, including the economic slowdown, cloud computing market maturation, and increased cloud provider competition.

Enterprises have highlighted the following challenges in their AWS engagements:

  • Commitment to consumption gap: Enterprises continue to get caught in the vicious cycle of overcommitment and underutilization. This has led to a significant waste of money and has made it difficult for enterprises to control cloud costs
  • Complex contracts and commercials: Enterprises have often struggled with inflexible AWS cost structures with complex caveats that lead to potential budget overruns
  • Cost management and visibility concerns: AWS’ current cost optimization offerings do not completely offer a solution for inefficient resource allocation and underutilization. This creates strong concerns about return on investments (RoI) among enterprises
  • Standalone professional services: AWS ProServe teams lack cohesiveness with SI teams during collaborative engagements, preventing enterprises from realizing the maximum potential value. This disconnect has led to inefficiencies, delays, and communication breakdowns, ultimately hindering project objectives

In addition to the above challenges, enterprises have underscored common cloud service provider challenges around integrating with legacy systems, talent shortage, vendor lock-in, and offerings complexity.

Deriving the desired value from AWS requires careful enterprise planning

Enterprises must adopt a right-fit approach for cloud engagements and workloads present on AWS. Choosing a strategic cloud service provider by mapping key business and technical requirements with the strengths of various providers is highly likely to prevail as the next differentiating factor for mature enterprises in the future.

To develop a clear understanding of how AWS can help them achieve their goals, enterprises need to consider strategic alignment, cost optimization, technical implementation, organizational readiness, and continuous improvement.

For instance, enterprise stakeholders considering how AWS can help achieve the desired value from generative AI (Gen AI) should ask:

Strategic alignment:

  • How do AWS’ Gen AI capabilities align with the overall IT strategy and business goals?
  • How can AWS’ Gen AI services help achieve desired outcomes such as increased automation, improved decision-making, or enhanced customer experiences?

Cost optimization:

  • How can the cost of Gen AI workloads on AWS be effectively managed?
  • What are the different pricing models for AWS services related to AI and Gen AI, such as Amazon Bedrock, Amazon SageMaker, Amazon Rekognition, and Amazon Comprehend?

Technical implementation:

  • What is the optimal approach to deploy and manage Gen AI models on AWS?
  • How can the security and compliance of Gen AI applications be ensured on AWS?
  • How can AI and Gen AI applications be integrated with other AWS services such as Amazon S3, Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon CloudWatch?

Organizational readiness:

  • What skills and training are required to develop, deploy, and manage Gen AI applications on AWS?
  • How can clear governance policies and guidelines for Gen AI usage on AWS be established?

Continuous improvement:

  • What is the best method to continuously monitor, evaluate, and refine the performance of AWS Gen AI workloads?
  • How can the ROI in AWS’ Gen AI solutions be maximized?

By addressing these specific questions, enterprises can comprehensively understand how AWS can empower them to achieve their strategic objectives, optimize their cloud investments, and derive the most value from AWS.

To discuss maximizing the value from AWS and cloud spending, contact [email protected] and [email protected].

Learn more about the AWS services market, including trends, demand drivers, and key considerations for enterprises.

Deciphering Voice Networks – Unravelling an Often Misunderstood Aspect of Enterprise Networking | Blog

Enterprise buyers frequently misunderstand voice network services and incorrectly group disparate services under a single resource unit (RU). Accurately defining and pricing RUs is essential to ensure both the enterprise and service provider benefit. To shed light on this often-cloudy aspect of enterprise networking, read on.

Voice technologies like Private Branch Exchange (PBX) and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) have been integral to enterprise operations for many years now. Network voice managed services can make up a sizable portion of an enterprise’s IT infrastructure outsourcing expenditure – consisting of up to 10% of the overall network managed services spend and as high as 5% of the overall IT infrastructure outsourcing spend.

Historically, outsourcing voice managed services has been trickier than network services. From our observations, enterprise buyers typically are unaware of the depth and nuances involved with voice services. Let’s explore this further in this blog.

While traditional network RUs like switches, routers, etc., are well understood and standardized, blind spots exist across the industry over defining RUs and pricing voice managed services. Enterprises often lack a comprehensive understanding of all the RUs involved in voice managed services and group disparate services under a single resource unit, such as voice endpoints.

This broad classification can create the following two types of challenges:

  1. An enterprise may overpay for services because the intricate details were disregarded.

An internal enterprise telephony service can have a significantly different price point and RU compared to an external-facing contact center. Service providers also have distinct price points for on-premises versus cloud-based versions of the same services.

For instance, prices for an on-premises CUCM-based VOIP system can vary widely from a Cloud Cisco Webex-based system. Similarly, an on-premises contact center will attract a completely different price point than one that is cloud-based.

Elements like voice gateways and session border controllers that require additional management effort and pricing can further amplify the complexity of voice networks. This creates a scenario in which the chances of applying an inappropriate RU rate are very high.

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Fig. 1. Cloud-based instance of the same technology can be priced differently compared to the on-premise instance

  1. Combining different services under one RU can also lead to scope misalignment and ambiguity regarding the responsibilities of the enterprise and service provider

This may cause issues during the actual delivery and lead to unanticipated renegotiation between the parties.

Appropriate RU definition and pricing is important because it ensures mutual value is created between the enterprise and service provider and neither comes away from the engagement feeling shortchanged.

Below are some common RUs and the associated pricing metrics that should be leveraged when outsourcing voice managed services:

Resource Unit

Pricing Metric

PBX System (Legacy) Per device
VOIP (such as CUCM-based systems)      Per endpoint
VOIP – Cloud-based phone systems      Per endpoint
Cloud contact center Per agent
Session Border Controller  Per device
Voice Gateway      Per gateway
Video Conference System  Per device
Video Conference System with Telepresence  Per device

Table 1. Commonly used voice network resource units

Enterprise buyers or service providers of voice managed services who want to better understand the pricing model and price benchmarks across geographies, please email [email protected].

Don’t miss our webinar, Key Issues 2024: Creating Accelerated Value in a Dynamic World, to learn major concerns, expectations, and trends for 2024 and provide recommendations on how to drive accelerated value from global services.

Exploring the Paradigm Shift of Experience Level Agreement-based Contracting and its Impact on Enterprises | Blog

Experience level agreements (XLAs) can foster service provider innovation and collaboration if structured with rewards for risks. While once a potent force, the XLA has lost its power as enterprises have transitioned to a penalty-only model, essentially reducing it to a standard service level agreement (SLA). Delve into the ramifications of this change and the potential dangers it poses to enterprises in this blog.

Employee experience is critical to the success of any organization. Companies that prioritize employee experience see higher employee engagement, lower turnover rates, and improved business outcomes.” — CIO of a Fortune 500 company

41 % Enterprises have identified improving EX as the top objective of workplace transformation1

Undeniably, experience holds immense power and significantly influences business operations. The introduction of the Experience Level Agreement (XLA) (refer to exhibit 1) offers a method to quantify and subsequently enhance intangible aspects such as Employee Experience (EX), capturing the interest of businesses and senior stakeholders worldwide.

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Nonetheless, recent trends suggest that the way enterprises approach XLAs has notably shifted, moving from a risk-reward model to a penalty-only one. The full implications of this change seem to be lost on enterprises. In this blog, we will delve into this shifting approach to XLAs, discuss the associated risks, and clarify why, before making this decision, enterprises should err on the side of caution.
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Deciphering the Significance of an Experience Level Agreement: Navigating the distinction between SLAs and XLAs

Recently, there has been some uncertainty about the role of XLAs, with suggestions that they might replace SLAs or represent its next evolutionary phase. It is important to clarify that XLAs are not intended to replace SLAs but rather to complement them. Understanding the differences between the two, as presented below, is critical.
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Demonstrating the intended version of XLA-based contracting

Before the introduction of XLAs, experience was pursued on a best-effort basis, with no means of measurement. However, now with enterprises contractually committing to XLAs, it placed the onus on SPs to take ownership of the user experience and actively seek avenues for improvement.

By formally incorporating XLAs into contracts, both enterprises and SPs established well-defined roles and responsibilities, fostering a collaborative partnership with mutual advantages.

Initially, XLAs operated under a risk-reward framework (refer to Exhibit 2), providing SPs with strong incentives to exceed predetermined performance standards. Penalties for non-compliance motivated SPs to improve service quality, ultimately benefiting enterprises. Furthermore, enterprises had the authority to impose penalties.

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The current landscape of the Experience Level Agreement risk-reward model approach

This risk-reward model seemed to be the ideal path for both enterprises and SPs to follow. However, macroeconomic factors and a heightened cost-saving focus led enterprises to push for a penalty-only XLA model to save costs.

While SPs were hesitant, they ultimately agreed to this model. This has created the scenario where SPs are offering penalty-only XLA contracting by default for all digital workplace deals.

However, SPs diluted the XLA-based contracting construct by accepting lenient performance benchmarks and minimal penalties, eliminating their motivation to work beyond the agreed-upon baseline benchmarks. Additionally, SPs began templatizing XLAs, inadvertently diluting their fundamental intent and purpose.

The change in XLA contracts has ultimately led to a pyrrhic victory for enterprises. Although they might have succeeded in eliminating rewards in the short term, overall employee experience and innovation may suffer in the long term.

In essence, this has now become dangerous for enterprises, as illustrated below:

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The way forward

This shift in approach diminished a once powerful tool in the hands of the enterprises, reducing XLAs into just another SLA, transforming a mutually beneficial partnership for growth into an environment fostering mediocrity.

Hence, enterprises must exercise caution in their approach towards XLAs. Instead of viewing XLAs as a means to cut costs or penalize providers, they should view them as a collaborative avenue for fostering innovation and driving growth.

Everest Group will continue to follow the evolution of the experience level agreement. To discuss your XLA journey or for help within an XLA co-creation workshop, please reach out to [email protected] and [email protected].

See our webinar, Forward-looking Sourcing for 2024: Outsourcing, Location, and Pricing Strategies in APAC, for 2024 outsourcing portfolio strategies.

1. Based on CXO responses from 442 enterprises with revenue greater than US$1 billion

2. Everest group research with 50 digital workplace providers

Source:  Everest Group (2023)

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