World-renowned research and analytics company Gartner recently introduced the latest version of its Magic Quadrant report for Outsourced Digital Workplace Services (ODWS) in 2023.
According to Gartner, demand for ODWS solutions is growing as companies deal with economic challenges, and struggle to attract talent in a skills-short marketplace. Service providers in this industry can provide companies with more of the resources they need to streamline workflows, deliver excellent customer service, and remain competitive in an evolving world.
Not only do ODWS solutions provide companies with access to valuable human resources, but they can also assist organizations in achieving their goals around automation, sustainability, and continued innovation. The Gartner report examines 17 top competitors in the Outsourced Digital Workplace Services space today, and identifies a total of 7 market leaders.
Defining Outsourced Digital Workplace Services
Gartner identifies ODWS solutions as offerings that provide companies with a range of resources for process management and growth. Outsourced Digital Workplace Services can include solutions providing remote “service desk” support to end users, end-user device support, PC provisioning tools, and user experience centric services.
Some ODWS providers also provide access to artificial intelligence, automation, self-healing intelligence, and services designed to enhance business outcomes. Gartner believes the core solutions offered by ODWS providers should focus on providing ubiquitous, integrated, and streamlined digital workplace solutions to employees. Leading vendors concentrate on finding ways to enhance engagement, productivity, and digital dexterity in any business strategy.
Notably, however, Gartner also highlights the exact solutions offered by ODWS providers can be diverse, spanning across a range of capabilities such as:
- Desktop virtualization: From dedicated VDI and application solutions to full DaaS offerings, adhering to elastic and utility consumption models.
- Cloud-based app end-user support: Dedicated assistance with mainstream cloud applications, such as Microsoft 365, G-Suite, and Salesforce.
- Experience-level agreements: XLAs leveraging digital experience monitoring, sentiment analysis, and overall experience.
- Field service and depot support: Traditional deskside support for issues which can’t be resolved remotely or with autonomous technology.
- Intelligent automation: Support implemented through bots, machine learning applications, and automated workflows.
- Knowledge management: Knowledge management tools underpinned by analytics tools capable of analyzing and searching through structured data.
- Multi-channel on-demand support: Assistance delivered through multiple channels, such as email, phone, and chat.
- Ongoing change management: Guidance through change management initiatives measured through the use of UX metrics.
ODWS solutions may also include support with peripheral vending tools, smart lockers, and support kiosks, persona-based support personalized to the needs of each user, and self-service assistance. Additionally, vendors may help with the implementation of smart workplaces (leveraging AI and IoT devices), UCaaS platforms, virtual personal assistants, and extended reality tools, such as virtual and augmented reality.
Gartner positions leaders in the ODWS Magic Quadrant as vendors capable of skillfully delivering solutions, with a clear understanding of their customers goals. Leaders consistently build and improve their competencies in the ODWS industry, and adapt to the changes of the marketplace. The 7 leading brands chosen by Gartner based on their completeness of vision and ability to execute are:
- Tata Consultancy Services
- DXC Technology
- NTT Data
Tata Consultancy Services
TCS boasts approximately 522 global ODWS clients, as well as more than 4.6 million service desk users, and 5.2 million device support customers. Gartner drew attention to TCS’s excellent balance of vision and execution, highlighting the TCS Cognix platform, which offers cloud-first, platform-led services on a catalog-based consumption model. TCS also offers customers a large selection of pricing models, making their services more accessible to clients, and benefits from an excellent level of customer satisfaction. Notably, however, the company is currently experiencing issues with high attrition rates, and limited access to local resources.
Focusing on a human-centric design to develop stronger workplace experiences, Wipro is reimagining the collaborative landscape with its Live Workspace solution. The company is consistently investing in emerging technologies, and leverages a strong focus on automation, to help minimize repetitive workflows. Gartner also notes Wipro has experienced positive growth in recent years, and reports excellent levels of customer satisfaction. First-call resolution levels for the company are among the best recorded in the Magic Quadrant. However, Wipro is taking an experimental approach to ODWS growth, and like TCS, suffers from high attrition rates.
Lately, DXC Technologies has been increasing its focus on employee experience metrics, leveraging Qualtrics to capture employee sentiment and workforce perceptions. Gartner champion’s the company’s fantastic device management services, which assist in managing Capex costs. Additionally, DXC’s ODWS strategy revolves around selling value-focused clients, which helps to differentiate it from its competitors. Unfortunately, the company still needs space to mature in some aspects of the ODWS world, and is struggling to deliver a consistent experience to legacy clients.
With a strong focus on sustainability, evidenced by its Uvance strategy, Fujitsu is capturing the attention of eco-conscious customers. The ODWS vendor is increasing its focus on satisfaction levels, utilizing NPS and other CX metrics to enhance employee experience and productivity. It also has a strong focus on mid-sized enterprises, which other organizations overlook. Notably, though, Gartner pointed out that Fujitsu has a relatively siloed delivery approach, and limited participation in agile co-creation deals, which may impact its growth.
To enhance its CX strategy, HCLTech has developed a Digital Experience Office, helping to enable sustainable, effective workplaces for customers. Additionally, the company has a strong focus on XLAs, with 72% of clients using contractual XLAs in their strategies. The company has developed multiple strategies to enhance the customer journey and productivity, and focuses on delivering a personalized level of support to its clients. Gartner did note, however, that HCLTech may not be the best fit for SMEs, and may have a higher attrition rate than some other market leaders.
Gartner applauded NTT Data’s commitment to developing new technologies for ODWS differentiation, such as virtual offices with metaverse technologies and real-time translation capabilities. NTT Data also has a wide range of flexible and high-tech ODWS capabilities, and has recently combined its services with NTT Ltd outside of Japan, to enhance its digital consulting, telecom and BPO abilities. However, NTT does need to work on developing its customer satisfaction levels according to Gartner, and enhancing its global presence in the market.
According to Gartner, Challengers in the ODWS Magic Quadrant execute their vision well, but have a limited view of the market direction. Some are poised to join leaders, while others need to prepare more aggressively for the future. Gartner notes that the Challengers in this year’s report are following closely behind the leaders, as the ODWS market is still maturing. The 4 Challengers from this year’s Magic Quadrant are:
Focusing on delivering human-centric workplace experiences, Infosys delivers resources designed to improve employee productivity and align sustainable transformation initiatives. The company benefits from a powerful consultancy service, which has contributed to its ODWS revenue growth of 56%. Plus, the company’s ODWS strategy involves the creation of vertically aligned offerings for a range of industries, including virtual clinics and digital classrooms. However, Infosys clients are currently slow to adopt automation, and don’t report the highest satisfaction scores.
After recently restructuring its ODWS strategy, Unisys is now focusing heavily on client outcomes and the experience management office (XMO) service. Unisys recently acquired Mobinergy to boost its device management service, and has achieved excellent levels of customer satisfaction in the last year. The business also benefits from a strong focus on automation, helping companies to streamline workflows. However, adoption of XLAs among Unisys needs improvement according to Gartner, and the company is still struggling to leverage significant growth for its ODWS services.
Recently, Cognizant consolidated its workplace capabilities under one service to improve end-to-end focus, and has doubled down on delivering excellence. Compared with other Magic Quadrant competitors, Cognizant has phenomenal first call resolution rates, and a healthy ODWS client base. The company also benefits from fantastic customer satisfaction scores. Gartner did note however that attrition rates for the company remain high, and XLA maturity for the brand is still moving slowly.
With a strong global footprint, Kyndryl shows a clear understanding of its client’s business, and is developing an ecosystem of partners to help with the delivery of services. New ODWS capabilities in the company’s portfolio are gaining traction, and Kyndryl has shown a strong commitment to delivering on transformation strategies with a consulting approach. According to Gartner, though, Kyndryl is still struggling with a large legacy base, hindering growth, and low adoption rates for its new solutions.
The Visionaries in the Gartner MQ for ODWS are tuned into the direction of the market, and are focused on preparing for growth, but they need to improve on or scale their delivery. Providers in the Visionary quadrant may need to focus on finding new ways to deliver their services to customers. The 3 Visionaries in this year’s quadrant are:
Accenture’s focus on consulting personalization helped it to earn a position in this year’s MQ. The company’s Elastic Digital Workplace leverages the innovation investments and consulting strengths of the company to deliver great experiences to clients. Accenture also focuses on outcome-based XLAs, and is investing in new workplace technologies to drive business value, such as XR. However, the brand does lack a focus on sustainability, and Gartner believes the company’s automation and self-healing capabilities need work.
With sustainability at the core of its ODWS services, Capgemini is rapidly responding to crucial friction points in the business landscape. Gartner applauded the company’s commitment to advancing automation capabilities for brands, and drew attention to the company’s commitment to driving workplace transformation through consulting. Although Gartner did also note that Capgemini sometimes delivers inconsistent client experiences, and is struggling with some workforce challenges.
Currently developing comprehensive strategies for digital workplace services, Stefanini is focusing on building strong relationships with clients through a strategy of strong co-entrepreneurial partnerships. The brand invests 7% of its revenue in research and development, and is concentrating on finding ways to bring automation to the business landscape. Unfortunately, Gartner did point out that Stefanini is struggling with scaling globally, and doesn’t have the best involvement in sustainability strategies compared to other brands.
Finally, Niche Players in the Gartner Magic Quadrant are vendors focusing on a specific segment or space within the market. Though they may be a perfect fit for some companies, thanks to their dedicated focus, their narrow perspective makes it harder for them to scale. The three ODWS providers ranked as niche players this year are:
- Tech Mahindra
With an enhanced focus on innovation and a co-design approach for architecting workplace transformation, Ricoh delivers exceptional value to companies. It leverages its Prism solution in its innovation lab in Japan, and has excellent access to onshore resources and governance. Ricoh has grown its business by roughly 20% in the last year, and is adopting agile co-creation practices. Notably, though, the companies XLA framework may need improvement, and Ricoh is struggling to deliver services on a global basis.
Taking a collaboration-driven approach to ODWS, Tech Mahindra’s FLEX Digital Workplace offerings are designed to foster rapid innovation and growth. The strategy used by the company includes XLAs and continuous upskilling for employees. Plus, the brand benefits from vertically aligned solutions for specific sectors and excellent customer satisfaction scores. However, ODWS only represents a small percentage of the business for Tech Mahindra, and Gartner notes that the company’s attrition rates are quite high.
Getronics benefits from a strong focus on sustainability, investing in central capabilities to support the reporting of environmental, social, and governance impacts. The company partners with clients and offers end-to-end consulting to power digital transformation. Plus, Getronics also benefits from the adoption of agile co-creation strategies for clients looking to transform rapidly. Unfortunately, the company focuses mainly on the European region and currently reports the lowest revenue per user for its digital workplace services.
Learning from the ODWS Magic Quadrant for 2023
This year’s ODWS Magic Quadrant offers a fantastic overview of some of the most competitive vendors and suppliers of outsourced solutions in the market today. Gartner acknowledges this market is still in the early stages of growth, which means there’s still a lot of opportunity available for growth among companies with the right vision and resources.
Gartner believes the demand for ODWS solutions will continue to grow in the years ahead as organizations adapt to a changing economic landscape and re-align their workplace strategies with a focus on employee experience and growth.