Cloud computing took off last year. “Clients in large numbers decided the cloud was safe enough and reliable enough to support critical countering work load,” says Eisner, who predicts that clients will move even more production work to the cloud in 2017.
Meanwhile, intelligent automation delivered via cognitive computing or robotic process automation are also poised to take off. Companies will be looking to artificial intelligence capabilities to help them extract value from their big data. And RPA is beginning to transform outsourcing. “Having nearly exhausted the cost saving limits of moving work to lower cost people, customers are now demanding that IT and business process outsourcing companies focus on achieving greater cost savings by moving much of that work to machines.”
The need for software speed — and integration
The emphasis of software-related contracts will be on software integration. “As the push toward disruptive technology and digital services continues, companies will rely heavily on integrators,” says Peterson. “Someone needs to make sure all the data flows correctly among those components and processes [run] seamlessly and accurately through the software stack.” IT leaders are looking to systems integrators for this work. “There’s a tremendous challenge there, but also a tremendous opportunity to effectively use integrators to become winners in the new digital economy,” Peterson says.
The pace of business change is also fueling the adoption of agile development methods — and agile development outsourcing agreements — to achieve business value faster. “However, clients and their legal teams are uncomfortable form a contracting perspective with an approach that is often light on upfront specifications and relies more on collaboration and trust between client and developers,” Masur says.
“While cumbersome and arguably inefficient, the traditional waterfall approach to software development is easy to memorialize in contractual language because it is very linear.” Nonetheless agile agreements will increase, predicts Masur, noting that there are contractual mechanisms outsourcing customers can implement to reduce uncertainty while still reaping the benefits of more a collaborative.
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