The Sport of Kings – Why Euan Davis decided to run with the horses


And sneaking up on the inside is…

We all make curious decisions in life, like when you accepted your mum’s Facebook invitation… or when Bill O’Reilly decided to be born.

However, these pale in comparison when one of Europe’s finest services analysts traded the corporate upper-echelons of Forrester Research to help kick-start a quirky little feisty research upstart, that was launched out of a blog – with a name no-one the left side of the Atlantic understands.  But it happened:  Euan Davis really did join HfS Research!

Euan spends so much of his life writing analytical stuff, that he’s never been so nervous as when he’s had to (gasp) put analyst protocol aside and actually write a blog post for the bagel-and-coffee delights of the interested sourcing onlooker.  So over to you Mr Davis, to tell us…

Why I decided to Run with the Horses

At the start of April every year my fellow Brits gather in their homes (and the lucky ones, in the pubs) to enjoy one of the greatest spectacles in the horse racing calendar: The Grand National.

Horse racing may well be the sport of Kings, but compared with the Kentucky and Indian Derbies or the Melbourne Cup, the Grand National is the most royally gruelling race, with 30 fences set over a distance of four and a half miles.

Days gone by saw horses and their riders suffer terribly on the National’s staggeringly high jumps. I remember watching in 2001 as only 4 horses finished out of a 40 strong field as the bad weather coupled with the course’s treacherous jumps took their toll—that year a 33/1 outsider won and by luck I liked the name so I backed it. Last year, the bookies favourite won but plenty of times I’ve seen upstarts enter the race and collect the trophy after a spell-bounding 10 minutes later….

In my eyes I see HfS as the young upstart in the research business with its analysts (horses) full of vim and vigour and chomping at the bit to challenge with leading content, robust analysis and long reach into the crowds that come to watch us.  But enough of the horse analogies—I have made (and heard) enough already—let’s just say I am delighted to beat HfS.

Readers of my blogs here will find collective thinking into how the evolving services landscape will shape demand and how service providers will respond. I intend to connect tech savvy business leaders, enterprise architects and sourcing executives together with the wider universe of IT/BPO providers to explore the key issues impacting the demand and supply of IT services. HfS provides a platform to share ideas, in addition to broadening  the debate.

My research here will focus on three themes that we feel really matter for buyers and sellers of IT/BPO services—

1)      Making multisourcing and service integration work. Those of you that have read my research will know how fascinating I find multisourcing and the governance needed to enable it. We are moving to a multi-provider eco-system and customers want their providers to share, collaborate and cooperate together rather than upselling and competing with one another.

My thinking is that some of the larger IT/BPO services firms will morph into collaboration hubs for their clients. They will become “service integrators” and drive the collaboration and cooperation between providers that effective multisourcing needs to drive value. And, as Cloud grows in its maturity—and it will—the role of the service integrator will become really important in minimizing risk, and guaranteeing operability and performance.

2)      Sourcing through the Cloud. What analyst worth their salt is going to ignore the biggest game changer in the IT/BPO services industry?! Through all of the jumbled thinking customers get it. New and fresh buyers are emerging from business rather than IT that are keen to experiment. I reckon we’ll see a new generation of business leaders navigating through all the security, risk and compliance issues to create new revenue models based around agile processes that hang around the cloud. As a jaded ex-ASP analyst (remember that?), I was dubious when I first saw the vendors all jump at once, but you know what changed my mind? The iphone….Voucher Cloud changes how and where my family spends its money and the possibilities are endless for other location based services. So many companies are asking questions concerning how they can “Cloudify” their contracts that it’s right that I focus here. We’ve just finished a cloud survey with the London School of Economics to over 1000 IT and business professionals and the results are startling…I will be running excerpts of this study over the next few weeks.

3)      IT and BPO services. As a “BITs” analyst (BPO and IT services) of many years I will be continuing coverage of the European IT and BPO landscape. Expect to see HfS cover the main markets for readers that want a global view. Infrastructure and application services, business process outsourcing, and transformation services fall under my European coverage. I will support customers with their service provider evaluations to figure out which the right global delivery acumen for their needs. I will be developing new tools for HfS customers that will allow you to select the right provider for an engagement in an open and easy way.

Euan Davis, Managing Director, European Practice, HfS Research

HfS gives me the opportunity to connect with so many IT and business professionals be they enterprise architects, sourcing practitioners, CIOS on the buying side but also with the IT/BPO providers and I would invite you to contribute your thoughts as you see fit. Expect to see my new research highlighted here, interesting articles that I find and insightful Q&A with those that are grappling with these mega trends and whose experience can deepen our collective understanding. I am very excited to be joining HfS and working with you all.


Euan Davis (Pictured) can be reached at euan dot davis at   He can also be found on twitter:  @euandavis.  You can read his bio here.

Posted in : Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Captives and Shared Services Strategies, Cloud Computing, Financial Services Sourcing Strategies, horses-for-sources-company-news, IT Outsourcing / IT Services, Outsourcing Advisors, Outsourcing Heros, Social Networking, Sourcing Best Practises



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  1. […] The Sport of Kings – Why Euan Davis decided to run with the horses […]

  2. Looks like a very interesting and well thought-out research plan, Euan. Excited to read your work – and welcome to the Horses 🙂


  3. Doesn’t sound like a curious decision to me! You’ve joined a really innovative research company, Euan. Looking forward to reading your work,

    Rahul Sethi

  4. […] Davis (LinkedIn, @euandavis) and Jamie Snowdown (not that one, ironically, this one: LinkedIn) has left […]

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