The top 10 IT outsourcing service providers of the year

By:  Stephanie Overby

The top six outsourcers on Everest Group’s second annual ranking of the best IT service providers of the year remained unchanged since 2016. But Accenture rose to the top of the list in 2017, besting last year’s No. 1 Cognizant. “Both are largely neck to neck,” says Abhishek Singh, IT services practice director at Everest Group. “However, this time, Accenture broke away from the pack because of what they achieved on IoT, SaaS implementation, and private cloud enablement.”

Everest Group has been ranking service providers individually based on their performance in 26 different categories, including key business lines, geographies, and technologies and categorizing them leaders, star performers, major contenders, or aspirants in each area. This is the second year the company consolidated that information for 73 providers to come up with overall rankings for the global outsourcing industry.

Top 10 IT outsourcing service providers of the year

  1. Accenture
  2. Cognizant
  3. IBM
  4. Tata Consultancy Services
  5. Wipro
  6. HCL
  7. Capgemini
  8. CSC
  9. Infosys
  10. Atos

Credit: Everest Group 2017

Cognizant continues to differentiate itself with a rapidly improving infrastructure services portfolio and an expanding healthcare presence. “The banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) sector is still their strongest suit, but healthcare is a future-safe strategy for them from a growth perspective,” says Singh.

Big Blue remains in the No. 3 spot in large part because IBM is everywhere. “They continue to score strong on innovation and their ability to play across the services spectrum,” says Singh. “However, they are nowhere near as influential as they were 10 years back.”

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is the one to watch, according to Singh. “They manage to stay under the radar when it comes to the market buzz, but look at what they have achieved in infrastructure services and life sciences,” Singh says. “From a near negligible presence in these markets, they have silently grown to be amongst the leaders.”

Wipro has been forward thinking in its development of new capabilities designed to keep pace with the digital era. “However, market success has not been commensurate with the investments they have made so far,” Singh says. “It will be interesting to see what happens when that point of inflection comes for Wipro”

HCL Technologies boasts a reliable growth engine, an aggressive sales strategy, and a strong customer orientation that has enabled the company to break into hard-to-win areas and win digital transformation deals across industry verticals, according to Singh. “A strong infrastructure services portfolio has also helped them stay ahead of challengers in this space.”

While it was not surprising that the top six well-established players, with successful strategies and long client lists, stayed put, Singh says “the others are indeed breathing down their neck.”

No. 7 CapGemini emerged as the star performer — the provider with the greatest annual increase in its positioning — in the IT services category. “Capgemini has been able to consolidate its U.S. play with its iGate acquisition and has leveraged its consulting pedigree to grow in both its key geographies: U.S. and Europe,” Singh says.

CSC rose from tenth to eighth place based on its strength in cloud infrastructure and its improved performance in analytics services for banking and mobility services for insurance. And Atos leapt from the 15th spot to No. 10 as it expanded its infrastructure business beyond Europe. “This year they featured in multiple areas of evaluation and showcased success across the spectrum including BFSI, healthcare and life sciences, applications, and infrastructure,” Singh says.

Everest incorporates market success (revenue growth, deals won or renewed, margins generated), IT service capabilities, and innovation in its scoring model. The categories for evaluation include a mix of traditional service areas (application services, testing) and next-generation capabilities (mobility, big data and IoT). This year, Everest recalibrated its methodology to place more emphasis on vision and strategy as well as customer satisfaction.

Among the providers who fell in the rankings were Fujitsu, Unisys, and Luxoft, all whom dropped out of the top 20 leaderboard. Infrastructure-focused Fujitsu and Unisys yielded their positions to Syntel and Hexaware, newer entrants with a wider range of capabilities. “Similarly, Luxoft also had limited presence in banking, capital markets, and application services,” says Singh.