We had the chance to meet with Marco Stefanini, founder and chairman of Stefanini and with Mr. Ernst Vögtle, VP Sales Management EMEA and talk about their views on the global IT service industry and the expansion to the German market.
Marco, you have a very interesting career path from a geological student to building and leading the first Brazilian global IT company with 21.000 employees in 38 countries. You were also mastering several economical and corporate crises during its 28 years existence and possess with that an experience that may give you a bit different perspective of today’s IT markets and business dynamics.
Today I would like to talk about this perspective of yours, your experiences and also some insights of the expansion of Stefanini to the German market. Let’s start with the development of the global ITO/BPO service industry, the situation today and its characteristics. Could you please give us your perspective and a couple of points that are important to you?
Firstly, If you look at the general situation of today’s ITO/BPO service industry you see that it is very fragmented and that the market situation is very competitive – not only in some markets, but everywhere, in America or in the US, in Europe or in Germany.
We also have a very diverse situation on the business side – all sorts of companies compete on the global market – besides the giant companies one finds small companies and middle sized companies too, all offering their services, widely free from country boarders and continents.
I am coming from Brazil and I think when comparing our situation with the global market the circumstances here are even more difficult. The environment, the entire business ecosystem is more hostile because of the crises, because of a high level of bureaucracy, and because of a very high cost pressure.
Through the many crisis’s and difficult conditions under which we have build our business we have learned how to survive much tougher times and very competitive situations. Therefore we also think that we are very well prepared for the European and specifically also for the German market, but that’s just one aspect and I would like to extend on that later.
On my second point I would rather take into account the big transformations the IT service market went through, lets say over approx. the last five years. For example many years ago from mainframe to low platform client-server architectures, after that from client-server to internet, then the ERP appearance which changed the entire market from software development and now the IT is not longer seen only as a black box within companies, but embedded and included everywhere – in cars, in mobiles and in any device. This is a big transformation again, which has great effects on how IT and people work. You have to constantly follow, you have to be agile and you have to be flexible.
Said all that the underlying and most critical IT market characteristics are competition and its dynamics.
That brings me to my next question: Yesterday during our meeting with you, with other people from Stefanini, some CIO’s and a few consultants one aspect became very clear: that it seems to be very challenging for CIO’s and technology leaders to answer all the internal and external demands – demands for ensuring efficiency in the IT which includes maintenance of legacy systems, demands for development, for adapting new technologies, new processes and innovation and with all that also the need for managing the transformation of the management and the workforce to ensure the capabilities of IT.
What is your perspective on these challenges that CIO’s are facing today and what role play external service providers in that?
The challenges of the IT leaders have different sides. On one hand they need to ensure the level of quality, the level of services and challenges regarding legacy, serving and delivery. On the other hand they need to lead the company through big transformations like digitalization, automation, mobile and so on. But this is not an easy task at all, because IT-leaders have to balance between quality, legacy and delivery on one side and on future on the other side.