Phil Fersht
CEO and Chief Analyst

Phil Fersht is widely recognized as the world’s leading industry analyst focused on the reinvention of business operations due to technological innovations and the globalization of talent.

He identifies change agents enabling organizations to streamline digital operations, access rapid and critical data to base decisions, and exploit the increasingly available global talent base. He coined the term Generative Enterprise™ in 2023 to articulate the pursuit of AI technologies based on large language models (LLMs) and ChatGPT to reap huge business benefits to organizations in terms of continuously generating new ideas, redefining how work gets done, and disrupting business models steeped in decades of antiquated processes and technology.

With more than two decades of experience, he has a global reputation for calling out the big trends, being unafraid to share his honest views, and driving a narrative on the technology and business services industries that shape many leadership decisions. His reputation drove him to establish HFS Research in 2010. It has become a leading industry analyst and advisory firm and is the undisputed leader in IT business services and process technologies research.

In 2012, he authored the first analyst report on robotic process automation (RPA), introducing this topic to the industry. He is widely recognized as the pioneering analyst voice that created and inspired today’s RPA and process AI industry.

Fersht coined the term OneOffice™ in 2016 to describe HFS Research’s vision for future business operations amidst the impact of cloud, automation, AI, and disruptive digital business models. OneOffice is the foundation of the hybrid (virtual-physical) workforce, where automation and AI tools augment the employee’s digital capabilities, and the workplace becomes a plug-and-play, work-from-anywhere scenario. Silos between front, middle, and back offices are collapsed into a single office, where all employees are empowered and motivated by common outcomes and common values. In 2022, he coined the term OneEcosystem™, which extends the principles of OneOffice beyond the walls of the enterprise, and collaboration and connections between organizations across the customer life cycle drive innovation.

Before founding HFS in 2010, Phil held various analyst roles for Gartner (AMR) and IDC and was BPO Marketplace leader for Deloitte Consulting across the United States. Over the past 20 years, Fersht has lived and worked in Europe, North America, and Asia, advising on hundreds of operations strategy, outsourcing, and global business services engagements.

He is also the author and creator of the most widely read and acclaimed blog in the global services industry, Horses for Sources, now entering its fourteenth year of publication. He regularly contributes to key media publications and is frequently a keynote speaker at major industry events, such as NASSCOM, ANDI, ABSL, Sourcing Interests Group, and HFS Research FORA Summits. He has been named Analyst of the Year on three occasions by the Institute of Industry Analyst Relations, which voted on 170 other leading IT industry analysts.

He received a Bachelor of Science, with Honors, in European Business and Technology from Coventry University, UK, and a Diplôme Universitaire de Technologie in Business and Technology from the University of Grenoble, France. He also has a diploma from the Market Research Society in the UK and is an expert in quantitative and qualitative research techniques. He also trains analysts on how to write in a succinct, high-impact style, applying his Five Rules of Writing, which differentiates the HFS analyst voice.

  • The IT and business services world has entered a crucial phase where the winners and losers will become clear in...Read More

  • To assure the journey toward the Generative Enterprise™, organizations must show humility for the unknown

    Quality assurance (QA), or simply “testing,” as it was called in the old days, can no longer be a reactive afterthought coupled with an unwillingness to invest in quality. Instead, it must become an integral part of the software development lifecycle (SDLC) and take on a much more holistic responsibility for assuring transformational outcomes.Read More

  • Thierry was good in Theory but perhaps not as Palliatable as Pallia

    April 06, 2024 |

    After the failed experiment to make Wipro like a Big 4/Accenture-like firm, Wipro is going back to its Indian-centric 80-year heritage to deliver cost-efficiency, but with capabilities to support transformations, Cloud and GenAI. However, the firm has to play catch-up during the toughest time facing Indian-heritage outsourcing, and Pallia needs to weather more challenging quarters, impatient shareholders, and unrealistic expectations.  Thierry hasn't left a great legacy to build on...Read More

  • GenAI will crash and burn

    April 01, 2024 |

    We’re sad to inform you all that the GenAI we have grown to love with such intensity will shortly crash and burn.  We’ve been here before, folks, when we called the death of RPA five years ago… and we are today calling the death of GenAIRead More

  • Anatomy of a flail. Wipro’s acquisition of Capco three years in…

    March 26, 2024 | ,

    As we examine what Wipro has achieved in the three years since the acquisition, we regretfully opine that things have not gone well. There has been limited exponential impact from combining the two entities and 'strategy-led execution deals' have not materialized.Read More

  • GBS (Global Business Services) is dead. Long live GBS (Generative Business Services)

    March 16, 2024 | ,

    For more than two decades, Global Business Services (GBS), the centralized service delivery model leveraging a mix of internal shared services and/or 3rd party outsourcing, has been a tried and tested modus operandi for large enterprises to save costs, drive process discipline and improve compliance.However, with the rapid advent of real generative AI capability, the current GBS model is dated, fails to deliver much (if any) value beyond cost and efficiency and has struggled to create viable career opportunities for ambitious talent.  Let’s face it, GBS is still stuck squarely in the back office and fails to provide a career track for the best and brightest to pivot their firms into the generative AI era.Read More

  • Why actions will eat code

    March 07, 2024 | ,

    After a remarkable journey through the era of computerization and its remarkable contributions, we stand at a pivotal moment of innovation. It's time to bid farewell to a core element that has been instrumental in its success:  We must undertake a comprehensive reevaluation of our enterprise application suites and the ecosystem of coding that has been central to their development and support. Our future is all about visible actions and invisible technology...Read More

  • We’re entering the Third Phase of AI: Purposeful AI

    Welcome to the Purposeful AI where humans set the goals and the boundaries, and your AI is empowered to deliver on the actions. This 'Third Phase of AI' follows from Foundational AI and Generative AI and is designed to make independent decisions – acting with autonomy within human-defined boundaries. Purposeful AI goes beyond a one-time-only assembly of rules of engagement. It will learn from its interactions and from prompts provided by humans to constantly improve its capabilities to action their desired outcomes in real-timeRead More

  • India’s bloated IT services firms must learn from their startups to avoid GenAI meltdown

    February 27, 2024 |

    Having just spent a lovely week in India leading an HFS special event in Mumbai, followed by speaking at the Nasscom Technology Leadership Forum, I was overwhelmed with concern that so many leaders in India's services industry really have no concept of what is going to hit them. Indian support services could lose a million positions over the next couple of years as LLMs rapidly change how routine IT testing and coding work are delivered.Read More

  • Can we reenergize the transactional workforce?

    February 13, 2024 | ,

    Why do so many employers feel shortchanged on performance and blame the remote work environment?  If their firms are failing and the remote environment is not improving performance, it really sounds like both leadership is failing to lead, and many employees are not performing either. Leaders need to trust their people and do all they can to get their staff to engage and collaborate, but staff also need to recognize this and motivate themselves to step it up and be engaging workers. Read More