ISG Provider Lens™ report sees companies seeking assistance while looking to expand their digital business capabilities

U.K. enterprises are turning to application development and maintenance providers to help them meet the twin challenges of COVID-19 and Brexit and expand their digital business capabilities, according to a new report published today by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Next-Generation Application Development and Maintenance Services Report for the U.K. finds the application development and maintenance (ADM) market is growing rapidly in the U.K. with the increase in digital business demands.

“Both the ongoing pandemic and Brexit have increased the need for U.K. enterprises to optimize IT costs and harness new technologies to gain a competitive advantage in an ever-changing market environment,” said Ola Chowning, partner, Digital Strategy and Solutions for ISG.

Agile development has become a high priority for U.K. companies needing to define software requirements and react quickly while trying to maintain software quality, the report says. Brexit has given many enterprises an increased sense of urgency, leading to faster decision making and a focus on clear value propositions.

In addition, Brexit is expected to lead to a shortage of qualified software developers in the U.K., with limitations on foreign workers in the country and uncertainty about employing remote workers from within the European Union. As a result, some smaller software development providers in the U.K. may lose market share to larger, international providers.

The report also finds ADM service providers offering many tools, frameworks and methodologies, making the market confusing to many enterprise clients. Service providers often partner with other framework, software and solutions providers, but also develop their own, proprietary platforms and methodologies, leading to additional market confusion.

The ADM market in the U.K. is driven by client requirements including cost reduction, modernization and speed to market, but implementation varies significantly across client application environments. Providers make the environment more complex when they try to cover as many client scenarios as possible.

The report also finds the accelerated use of agile development practices has exposed limitations in scaling agile development within large enterprises. The number of tools and frameworks are nearly endless, and when companies free their agile teams to choose their tools, both clients and providers find it difficult to integrate agile development processes.

In addition, DevOps continues to be a challenge for most enterprises, with less than half of all agile development teams using it efficiently, the report says. Automating repetitive tasks is necessary, and without automation, development teams tend to skip process steps, including quality assurance.

Meanwhile, the managed application services market has been adapting to automation, agile and new business and software functionality demands, the report says. Providers are being challenged to focus on enhancement requests and application bug fixing, alongside requests for new functionalities, often with short implementation timeframes. Leading organizations handle this by separating new development streams from their enhancement and bug fixing backlogs.

Many enterprises also continue to struggle to merge legacy application maintenance and new applications running in agile mode, the report adds. Automation has been gaining more attention and has become a competitive differentiator. Service providers are merging IT processes under automated operations with AI capabilities, including AIOps. Providers add value by integrating AI-powered automation throughout the development process, and especially in quality assurance, to provide analytics dashboards and insights for process improvement.

The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Next-Generation Application Development and Maintenance Services Report for the U.K. evaluates the capabilities of 41 providers across five quadrants: Application Development and Scaled Agile, Agile Development Specialists, Managed Application Services, Application Quality Assurance and Continuous Testing Specialists.

The report names Capgemini, Cognizant, HCL, Infosys and Wipro as Leaders in three quadrants and Atos, Coforge and TCS as Leaders in two. Accenture, Hexaware, LTI, Persistent Systems, Tech Mahindra, UST and Zensar are named Leaders in one quadrant.

In addition, EPAM is named a Rising Star—companies with “promising portfolios” and “high future potential” by ISG’s definition—in two quadrants. LTI and Softtek are named Rising Stars in one quadrant.

A customized version of the report is available from Capgemini.

The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Next-Generation Application Development and Maintenance Services Report for the U.K. is available to subscribers or for one-time purchase on this webpage.

About ISG Provider Lens™ Research

The ISG Provider Lens™ Quadrant research series is the only service provider evaluation of its kind to combine empirical, data-driven research and market analysis with the real-world experience and observations of ISG's global advisory team. Enterprises will find a wealth of detailed data and market analysis to help guide their selection of appropriate sourcing partners, while ISG advisors use the reports to validate their own market knowledge and make recommendations to ISG's enterprise clients. The research currently covers providers offering their services globally, across Europe, as well as in the U.S., Germany, Switzerland, the U.K., France, the Nordics, Brazil and Australia/New Zealand, with additional markets to be added in the future. For more information about ISG Provider Lens research, please visit this webpage.

A companion research series, the ISG Provider Lens Archetype reports, offer a first-of-its-kind evaluation of providers from the perspective of specific buyer types.

About ISG

ISG (Information Services Group) (Nasdaq: III) is a leading global technology research and advisory firm. A trusted business partner to more than 700 clients, including more than 75 of the world’s top 100 enterprises, ISG is committed to helping corporations, public sector organizations, and service and technology providers achieve operational excellence and faster growth. The firm specializes in digital transformation services, including automation, cloud and data analytics; sourcing advisory; managed governance and risk services; network carrier services; strategy and operations design; change management; market intelligence and technology research and analysis. Founded in 2006, and based in Stamford, Conn., ISG employs more than 1,300 digital-ready professionals operating in more than 20 countries—a global team known for its innovative thinking, market influence, deep industry and technology expertise, and world-class research and analytical capabilities based on the industry’s most comprehensive marketplace data. For more information, visit


Will Thoretz, ISG +1 203 517 3119

Kate Hartley, Carrot Communications for ISG +44 (0)20 3457 6403

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