IBM, HP, Accenture Top IT Services List

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

IT services revenue stayed strong for much of 2008, with IBM, HP and Accenture topping the rankings as the biggest providers of IT services. But long-term engagements took a hit as the economy began to unravel late in the year, according to a new Gartner report.

IT services remained a bright spot for Hewlett-Packard in its most recent earnings release, and now research firm Gartner says that IT services revenue showed strength for much of 2008.

Worldwide IT services revenue totaled $806 billion for 2008, an 8.2 percent increase from 2007 revenue of $745 billion, according to Gartner.

"Vendors had six to eight months of 'business as usual’ in 2008 and then approximately four months encountering the beginning of the global economic downturn, featuring widespread cost restrictions and cost reductions," says Kathryn Hale, research vice president for Gartner’s worldwide IT services group, in a prepared statement.

Hale points out a surprising development following the onset of the downturn—markets that previously would have done well in tight economic times haven’t proven to be immune this time around.

"The only two segments of the market that grew less than forecast were IT management and process management," Hale notes. "This is particularly surprising, because in economic hard times the potential cost savings from outsourcing usually keeps this market segment buoyant. However, apparently buyer hesitation to commit to the long-term requirements of outsourcing agreements took precedence in 2008."

IBM continues to be the market leader in the space by a wide margin, with 2008 revenue of $58.9 billion and 7.3 percent of market share, followed by HP in the No. 2 spot with $38.6 billion and 4.8 percent market share (following HP’s acquisition of EDS). Gartner notes that HP’s difficulties in integrating the EDS business meant its revenue only grew by 1.9 percent in 2008, considerably below the overall market growth rate.

Accenture is third with $23.7 billion and 2.9 percent market share. Fujitsu is fourth with $20.4 billion in revenue and 2.5 percent market share, followed by CSC in fifth place with $17.1 billion in revenue and 2.1 percent market share. The remaining players make up 80.4 percent of the market and contribute $647.2 billion to the overall market revenues, according to Gartner.

The company notes that growth at India-based vendors slowed down in 2008 to a 12.9 percent growth rate in U.S. dollars, down from a 39.8 percent growth rate in 2007. Gartner attributes this to cutbacks by financial services firms, particularly on offshore application development services.

Gartner says that in the platform space enterprise networks grew by 6.8 percent, compared with carrier networks, which grew at 14.2 percent.

"As carriers look to create operational efficiency and business growth and continue network transformation projects, opportunities are created for professional services firms, particularly in network and system integration and managed services," says Christine Tenneson, research director at Gartner, in a prepared statement. "Carriers are looking to transform their infrastructure and business environment to capture the opportunity to develop services for new revenue opportunities, while simultaneously developing operating expenditure savings with a flat IP infrastructure."

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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