InformationWeek 500: Service Providers Use IT To Stand Out In The Crowd
Consulting and business services companies spend a larger percentage of sales on business technology projects than do most other industries in the InformationWeek 500.
Consulting and business services companies are aggressive adopters of IT, devoting 4.3% of their annual sales to business technology projects, compared with 2.5% for all other industries in the InformationWeek 500 survey.
Such investment is partly driven by service providers' need to create offerings with which they can distinguish themselves at a time when many services are becoming automated or outsourced. Routine services such as forms processing and call-center support are fast becoming commodities performed by computers or low-wage workers overseas. Indeed, 62% of these companies say they're maintaining full-time IT employees outside the country, compared with 45% for all other industries, according to our survey.
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But some service providers are looking for ways to stand out. For instance, 46% plan to introduce IT-led products and services. One of them is printing stalwart Xerox, which is looking to help companies deal with increasing amounts of information through a program called the Information Overload Research Group.
The idea, says Xerox's PARC computing lab head Teresa Lunt, is to create applications that produce "context-aware" documents that are easy to find and manage. "It's not that people have too much information, it's that they don't know what they have and don't have," says Lunt. "We want the documents themselves to be smarter."
|Industry Snapshot: Consulting and Business Services|