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2020 Nordic IT sourcing Study

Strong but changing outsourcing market in the Nordics

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2020 Nordic IT sourcing Study

The Nordic outsourcing market remains strong with 87 per cent of the respondents to Whitelane Research´s 2020 Nordic IT Sourcing Study saying they are very satisfied, satisfied or somewhat satisfied. Notwithstanding the effects of the current coronavirus pandemic, growth is expected in the next two years with 67 per cent of respondents confirming they will continue to outsource at the same rate or more. However, the results also clearly confirm the trend in insourcing with 18 per cent (up 5 percentage points) of respondents looking to insource confirming that the market is maturing, with customers adjusting the scope of their outsourcing arrangements.

will continue to outsource

About the survey

The 2020 Nordic IT Sourcing Study, conducted by Whitelane Research in collaboration with PA Consulting, investigated more than 700 unique IT sourcing relationships and 700 cloud relationships held by more than 340 of the top IT spending organisations in the Nordic region. The study evaluated 28 IT and cloud service providers and ranked them based on client feedback. The scope of this research makes it the most comprehensive client study covering the performance of IT outsourcing and IT service providers across the Nordic region. If you want to learn more about this report, please contact one of our PA sourcing experts.

"Whilst the Nordic outsourcing market remains strong, changes continue at a rapid pace. Customers who have a clear strategy will be best placed to take advantage of the big opportunities ahead."


Tom Krohn,
PA sourcing expert


Key findings from the research

Continued growth in the market can be expected with 67% of respondents intending to outsource at the same rate or more, however, insourcing is also increasing with 18% of respondents adjusting their scope and bringing services in-house. 

Clients' main drivers for outsourcing are the need for "more scalability to business needs" (59%), "cost reduction" (55%) and "a focus on core business" (53%).

The increase in insourcing is primarily driven by the shift towards more "faster time-to-market and/or improved quality outcomes" (73%) and "the challenge of working with providers in Agile/DevOps teams" (54%).

Respondents are satisfied with their IT service provider(s), with 87% of all 702 IT sourcing relationships being rated as satisfactory, 9% being somewhat unsatisfied, 3% unsatisfied and only 1% very unsatisfied.

Respondents are also satisfied with their cloud providers with Microsoft, AWS and Google ranked as the top providers in terms of satisfaction for Infrastructure Cloud platforms and Google Suite, Microsoft, ServiceNow and ranked as the top Software Cloud services.

TCS is in first place in the Nordic ranking with the most satisfied clients across Nordic countries followed by Basefarm and Sopra Steria. 

Future developments in sourcing partnerships

Satisfied clients are looking to outsource more, however, clients are adjusting their scope driven by aggressive adoption of cloud services and agile ways of working. The traditional service providers are discovering they need to change and find ways to support their clients with the following initiatives:

  • There are different trends across Nordics on cloud adoption with more than one in two organisations in Norway predicting that more than 50% of their application portfolio will be running on a cloud platform in two years, while this figure is much lower in Denmark (21%) and Sweden (18%). For IaaS services, Microsoft Azure receives the highest score with 75% satisfaction, followed by Amazon Web Services (AWS) (74%) and Google Cloud Platform (73%). For SaaS, Google Suite receives the highest score on the ranking for software cloud platforms (SaaS) with 81%, followed by Microsoft (79%) and ServiceNow and (both at 73%).
  • Investments appear to continue in intelligent automation (robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning) with 68% of Nordic organisations already using and planning to increase the usage of intelligent automation. It is also noteworthy that 52% of the respondents believe the service providers are only marginally sharing the benefits of the usage of these tools with them as clients.

  • Clients (64%) and service providers (68%) agree that the biggest barrier to overcome for a wider adoption of public cloud is integration with existing or legacy systems. Security and privacy issues are also proving to be a major obstacle for further expanding the use of cloud solutions.

Keys to success for outsourcing clients

  • Create a climate for cooperation and trust through transparency
  • Dare to expose the service provider to the business representatives
  • Incentivise supplier innovation and explore industry specific solutions developed by service providers
  • Understand that service providers need to make a profit
  • Visit service provider delivery sites and meet the delivery team frequently.


Compare this year’s findings to last year’s study

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Henrik Ringgaard Pedersen

PA Sourcing, IT transformation and financial services expert

Peter Wardell

Digital, IT-strategy and Sourcing expert