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Artificial intelligence, cloud, blockchain technologies driving digital disruption of capital markets ITO industry.
Capital market IT outsourcing (ITO) deals experienced double-digit growth in 2016; legacy modernization and adoption of digital technologies drove a 29 percent increase in the number of capital market ITO deals, with the average total contract value rising 23 percent, according to Everest Group.
Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud and blockchain were key components of digital adoptions. The demand for virtual assistants, automated investment advisory capabilities, and improved agent/broker and customer experiences drove a 64 percent uptick in the number of capital markets ITO deals that included AI in their scope. Similarly, the impetus to improve agility and reduce costs led to a 47 percent surge in cloud-based initiatives in capital markets ITO deals.
Another major driver of capital market ITO deals in 2016 was risk and regulatory compliance initiatives. These saw a 58 percent increase over 2015, largely attributed to an overall tightening of regulatory grip in the capital markets industry, especially in Europe.
“Everest Group anticipates that the capital markets IT outsourcing market will grow modestly in the next 12 months, as many of the trends we have documented in 2016 continue,” said Ronak Doshi, practice director at Everest Group. “Risk and regulatory compliance will remain a primary focus; deal sizes will shrink as enterprises demand cost-reductions through automation; and artificial intelligence, cloud, and blockchain technologies will drive the next wave of digital disruption.”
These recommendations and research findings are explored in “Simpler, Smarter, and Seamless Capital Markets – The Digital Revolution: Capital Markets ITO Annual Report 2017.” This report examines the global activity and trends in the capital markets segment and the implications for enterprises and service providers.
Other key findings:
- Brokerage and investment sub-vertical witnessed an increase in transaction activity, led with a central theme of adopting digital to enhance the front-office user experience.
- The capital markets industry witnessed a decline in demand for traditional IT application development and maintenance service while the demand for consulting and integration services surged in 2016.
- Asia remained the most lucrative destination for application outsourcing service delivery, despite improvement in the cost effectiveness of Central Eastern Europe and Latin America owing to currency depreciation.
- The capital markets vertical witnessed a significant increase in the number of small-ticket size and short-duration deals in 2016.
- Deals over US$14 billion will be coming up for renewal in the next four years.
***Download complimentary report abstract here***
Capital markets BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) is one of the fastest growing industry-specific verticals within the BFSI segment, with a market size of over $2 billion in 2016. Investment banking is the largest line of business within the capital markets BPO. Asset management, custody and fund administration, and brokerage are the other key lines of business in this space.
Enterprises typically look to partner with third-party pureplay service providers such as Cognizant, EXL, Genpact, Infosys, and TCS to remain competitive in the marketplace, and simultaneously manage their regulatory, risk, and cost concerns. But the BPO majors are facing stiff competition from specialist capital markets BPO providers such as Avaloq, eClerx, and Xchanging, which are more focused and have deeper domain expertise.
Against this backdrop, what pricing considerations should enterprises take into account when selecting a specialist or a pureplay Business Process Outsourcing provider?
What to consider when selecting a Business Process Outsourcing provider
- Specialists come at a premium: Specialist providers typically charge a premium price. The premium is nominal for low complexity processes such as static and dynamic data management, client onboarding, low value reconciliations, trade capture, and exception matching. Yet, it rises considerably for high complexity capital markets BPO processes such as OTC derivatives, syndicated loans, and alternative investments. Specialist capitalist providers’ expertise in niche and complex services gives them significant pricing power leverage over pureplay BPO providers.
- Pureplay BPO providers on the move: However, pureplay BPO providers over the last couple of years have moved swiftly, and gained meaningful ground in terms of building competence in high value services. This increased, more head-on competition has reduced the pricing differential to some extent.
- Pricing model induced rate differential: FTE-based pricing is most common in capital markets BPO contracts, closely followed by the transaction-based model. Typically, contracts with transaction pricing have a higher Annual Contract Value (ACV) per FTE, as the service provider agrees to share some of the buyer’s risk, and thus bakes the risk premium into the pricing. Additionally, the scope of work for capital markets BPO deals with transaction-based pricing is usually higher value and more complex, pushing up the average ACV per FTE further.
Pureplay BPO providers VS. specialists
Net-net, specialist providers, which at least as of today handle more high-value services, come at a higher price than their pureplay BPO peers. And, at least as of today, buyers appear ready and willing to pay this premium.
Enterprises in this space typically tend to value and favor specialists when it comes to finding a partner for their capital markets BPO operations. And they tend to be particularly selective, as most service providers – both pureplay and specialist— do not play in all the segments, but instead focus on building deep capabilities around one or two of the four key business lines.
Are you working with a pureplay or specialist provider in the capital markets BPO space? To what extent did pricing play into your provider selection? Do you think specialists have an edge over pureplay BPO providers in terms of capabilities?
High cost pressures, market uncertainty drive decline in application outsourcing deals and rise in vendor consolidation.
Capital market firms—which are operating under difficult market conditions, facing an increasingly complex regulatory environment and competing with aggressive new financial technology entrants—find themselves needing to invest in next-generation technologies while holding IT budgets steady, according to new research from Everest Group. This implies that the only plausible way to continue technological advancement will be to fund change initiatives with money saved by run-the-business initiatives.
“Capital markets firms are struggling with increasing costs, increasing regulation, and a period of low growth,” said Jimit Arora, partner at Everest Group. “In addition, technological advancement, especially digital, has created a new set of competitors that are not weighed down by the burden of legacy in their product portfolio, customer relationships and IT setup. The imperative for capital market firms is to focus on growth, profitability and managing risk, and their IT investment must be focused on cost optimization and improving the customer experience.
“As a result, the implications for IT service providers serving capital market firms are to tailor their offerings with next-generation technologies and offer utility-based services that help clients achieve their business objectives quickly. They also should look to collaborate with clients to invest in innovation and form alliances with leading platform providers.”
These recommendations and research findings are explored in two recently published Everest Group reports available at https://www.everestgrp.com/:
- “IT Outsourcing in Capital Markets—Annual Report 2016.” This report examines the global trends in the capital markets segment and their implication for application services outsourcing. Topics include market size and growth, demand drivers, adoption and scope trends, emerging priorities for buyers, and key investment themes.
- “IT Outsourcing in Global Capital Markets – Service Provider Landscape with PEAK Matrix™ Assessment 2016 and Profiles Compendium.” In this report, Everest Group assesses 27 capital markets application outsourcing (AO) service providers on their capabilities for providing these services globally. These providers are mapped on the Everest Group Performance | Experience | Ability | Knowledge (PEAK) Matrix, which is a composite index of a range of distinct metrics related to each provider’s capability and market success.
In the 2016 PEAK Matrix™ Assessment of IT outsourcing in global capital markets, Everest Group identifies seven Leaders among the 27 firms assessed: Accenture, Cognizant, HCL Technologies, IBM, Infosys, TCS and Wipro.
In addition, the report identifies five service providers—Capgemini, EPAM, Hexaware, Luxoft and VirtusaPolaris—as the Star Performers based on their positive forward movement over time in terms of both market success and capability advancements.
Other key findings in the reports:
- Capital markets IT outsourcing spend remains the lowest among the subsegments of the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) industry.
- New application outsourcing transactions in the capital markets IT services saw a minor decline of 2.6 percent compared to last year as clients reduced spending. Only 74 new deals were reported in 2015 against 76 in 2014. Cost pressures and global market uncertainty were the main reasons behind the decline in deal activity. The number of large deals decreased as clients undertook vendor consolidation to reduce spend on vendor management and reduce management overhead.
- The number of large contracts jumped by 50 percent; however, total contract value (TCV) declined by 45 percent as clients reduced spending on traditional IT services.
- Digital services continue to expand their share in IT budgets. Nearly 65 percent of all large transactions included digital components in the scope of services, with analytics and mobility being the leading technology themes last year as clients look to monetize data assets and improve customer experience using the mobile channel.
- Renewals worth US$2.7 billion are up for grabs in the next year.
- Fixed-price contracts remain the most preferred pricing model as capital market firms demand predictability in their IT spending.