Are you ready for the challenge of 2009?

The impact of the slowing economy on business process outsourcing (BPO) business models is one of the top issues IT service providers will face in 2009, says a new report from global IT advisory and consulting firm Ovum

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The impact of the slowing economy on business process outsourcing (BPO) business models is one of the top issues IT service providers will face in 2009, says a new report from global IT advisory and consulting firm Ovum.

Other top issues for next year will include the convergence of IT and telecom services, plus the continued importance of quality and security.

In its report 'The Ovum Eight', the firm has identified eight of the top IT Services issues that will impact IT vendors, their partners and end-users in 2009.

"In this challenging economy, IT services providers will need to navigate a host of new and continuing challenges as they attempt to maintain and grow their business," said Eamonn Kennedy, Practice Leader of Ovum's IT Services team. "The Ovum Eight highlights some of the key issues we're talking with clients about every day. Providers must get ahead of these trends as they work to capture new customers and keep the ones they have."

The report examines eight topics authored by individual members of Ovum's IT Services team, and the research these include:

Competing for the Cloud: Cloud Computing can encompass and potentially disrupt "traditional" models of infrastructure and applications outsourcing, third-party managed services and SaaS-powered services. Cloud Computing is quickly becoming one of the most competitive markets in all of IT as services firms attempt to leverage these technologies and others to deliver new value-added services to the market. Customers, meanwhile, have seen and heard plenty of marketing messages around Cloud Computing, but are now searching for answers as to what IT and business benefits could ensue.

Quality Assurance and Information Security: The worsening economic environment is driving demand for improved value from applications, applications-led outsourcing and other IT services. In practical terms, this means demonstrable and sustainable cost effectiveness and reduced time-to-market. Pressure is therefore growing on developers and outsourcing service providers to raise the twin bars of quality assurance, namely ensuring products and services are fit for purpose and, being right first time.

High-Pressure IT: All IT services vendors will argue that their IT delivery is done under high pressure, although for many this is more hyperbole than truth. Ovum believes High Pressure IT is about delivering IT services on the biggest stage, under the highest level of scrutiny, and with no room for mistakes. We explore the opportunities for IT services providers in High Pressure IT -- those targeting the global market for major media, sporting and cultural events.

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