Private Equity’s Appetite for IT Services Firms Remains Ravenous
Private equity firms continue to actively invest in the IT Services sector. IT Services companies remain attractive investment targets for a variety of reasons, including:
- The information technology market is huge and experiencing secular growth;
- The complexity of technology solutions continues to increase, driving demand for outsourced services;
- The IT Services market is highly fragmented, which provides an opportunity for growth through acquisition;
- IT Services businesses benefit from economies of scale as personnel utilization improves, purchasing power increases and fixed costs are used more efficiently in larger businesses; and
- Customer relationships often involve providing managed services, which result in improved visibility into future financial performance.
The Expanding Technology Behind Channel Sales
If you’re a shopaholic, you’re probably a Nordy Club member or hold a REDcard from Target. If you can’t live without pumpkin spice lattes, you’re likely enrolled in the Starbucks Rewards program. Many business-to-consumer (“B2C”) companies utilize marketing, loyalty, and rewards programs to engage consumers and drive brand recognition and customer retention. These programs were early adopters of technology and software aimed at delivering effectiveness, efficiency, and measurability to rewards and marketing spend. However, business-to-business-to-consumer (“B2B2C”) companies and channel marketers have been slower to adopt similar technology, until now. B2B2C companies and channel marketers are beginning rapid adoption of technology and software to drive these types of measurable and repeatable results in their businesses.
Sounding the Alarm – Recent Cyberattacks Stoke the Flames of Red-Hot Managed Security Services Sector
A cyberattack against Capital One, which was perpetrated by a single Seattle-based hacker in March, exposed the personal information of nearly 106 million of the bank’s customers and applicants. Capital One’s management didn’t become aware of the incident until it was reported to the company by an independent security researcher in July. Just ten days after the Capital One hack hit the airwaves, another cyberattack was announced in southern California. Computers belonging to the city of Los Angeles were breached in late July, providing the hacker with access to the personal information of 20,000 applicants for positions in the police department. As these examples show, no organization is safe from cyber criminals.
Loyalty in the Workplace
The old adage about the finance industry was “if you want loyalty on Wall St., get a dog.” That mentality has slowly crept onto Main St. as cultural norms have shifted, a strong job market has persisted, and the options for job seekers have exploded and are just a click away. The change in employee loyalty is reflected in the fact that, over the last 20 years, the number of companies people have worked for in the first five years out of college has nearly doubled. The days of slowly moving up the corporate ladder during a 40-year career are largely gone. These secular trends have led to the emergence of employers looking for ways to engage with, influence and retain employees to ensure longer-term, stable workforces, which ultimately drive value to organizations.
IT Services Businesses . . . Making IT Happen
As digital technology continues to transform how business is done, the complexity and speed of change of information technology continues to increase dramatically. Many businesses realize it is impractical to invest in the required personnel and training needed to stay on top of the latest developments in technology. As a result, many companies, particularly small- and medium-sized businesses, rely on third-party service providers to install and manage their IT systems. The growing demand for these outsourced services has caught the attention of both strategic acquirers and private equity funds looking to capture share of a burgeoning global market, which is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 8.4% and reach $1.1 trillion by 2025.
Tech-enabled Innovation Amongst Incumbent Players in the Insurance Sector
Much has been written about the rapid digitalization taking place in the insurance sector. Enabled in part by rapidly growing insurance technology “insurtech” investments, numerous new entrants are testing existing processes, distribution channels and incumbent positions.
Less has been written about the tech-enabled innovation taking place amongst incumbents themselves.
Mobile and Video Lead Internet Advertising to New Heights
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) recently released its latest Internet Advertising Revenue Report, which is conducted independently by PwC on behalf of the IAB. As expected, the report shows internet advertising continues its unrelenting growth. For nine consecutive years, U.S. internet advertising revenues have maintained a double-digit growth rate. In 2018, internet ad revenues totaled $107.5 billion, which represents growth of approximately 22% over 2017.
Workplace Wellness Programs: One Size May Not Fit All
2019 is well underway, and businesses have had the past few months to acclimate to new legislation, policy updates and operational shifts that constantly disrupt and reshape our corporate climate. Once a foreign, idealized concept, wellness programs have become a staple in the discussion surrounding company culture and workplace health over the past decade. According to a recent Welltok survey, over 60% of respondents rely on their employer for at least one aspect of their health. This responsibility has forced executives and HR professionals to stay abreast of the ever-evolving nature of workplace wellness to ensure that employees reap all of the benefits offered by participation in these programs. While the introduction of broad, firmwide initiatives has created “healthier” workplaces, many of these programs offer minimal value for employees who seek targeted, individualized care for their personal, non-holistic needs.
The Evolution of Event Technology
Live events and technology have a unique relationship, the technology must be used to improve attendee experiences without detracting from the in-person aspect of the live event world. The event technology industry is full of organizations striving to find the best possible use of technology, leading to more efficient event registration platforms, live event apps, ticketing software, and much more. According to a Trade Show News Network (TSNN) survey, event producers are moving beyond technology as a communication tool and have begun capturing and tracking large amounts of data. Specifically, data that can be used to greatly improve attendance, marketing and communications.
Direct Mail Marketing – Alive and Well
Despite rumors to the contrary, direct mail is not dead yet. In fact, it is alive and well. Direct mail remains an integral tool for increasing brand awareness and driving customer response.
Everyone will acknowledge that we live in a digital world, but the effectiveness of direct mail may surprise you. According to the Data and Marketing Association’s Response Rate Report, direct mail yields a much higher response rate than social media, online display, email marketing, and paid search. In fact, direct mail’s response rate is over 8x the next highest medium when using a house list.