I am seeing clients come up to end of 3-5-7 year SaaS and outsourcing deals I and others helped them with. And I often hear things like “routine renewal” or “let’s re-bid with a slightly different group of vendors than we invited last time”. There is a sense of “steady state” in many of these scenarios which makes me uncomfortable.
I used the HfS Blueprint fireside chat this week to gently warn folks about the “calm before the storm” - the storm as in 5 market disruptions we discussed during the session (slides included below)
I used 3 personal anecdotes from my international travels in the 80s
a) a visit to Berlin just before the Wall fell and almost losing my passport to the E. German bureaucracy
b) a trip to Paris with a Japanese colleague from PW and explaining to French customs the 3 large bagfuls of trinkets from Harrods would not stay in France but were gifts for his friends in Japan
c) a bus ride in Israel and being pelted by rocks as the first Palestinian intifadah started.
I told them I (and many US diplomats and economists) used linear assumptions through the 90s – that E. Europe would continue to be a communist mess, that Japan would continue its economic march, that the Middle East protests would continue in relatively harmless ways. We were wrong on each and I am afraid many clients are going into their next phase of IT outsourcing with similar linear assumptions.
Ned May of HfS did a great job pushing and probing me on the disruptions. I will see if we can share a recording. In the meantime, download the slides we used.
BTW HfS brought together a really nice group of outsourcing buyer, vendor executives and advisors to the event in New York, now in its third year. Kudos to Phil Fersht and his team.