Free Circulation of Services
EU Services Directive: IDC Evaluates Its Impact on European Professional Services Companies
How the Expected Business Changes will Affect Professional Services Companies' ICT Strategies
(21.04.10) - The International Data Corporation's (IDC) European Vertical Markets recently released a new report examining the impact of the EU Services Directive, which took effect in December 2009, on the business of professional services companies. The directive aims to allow the free circulation of services across member states. This study also discusses how the expected business changes will affect professional services companies' ICT strategies, by sub-industry.
"The directive is expected to generate many outcomes, which will affect professional services companies' organization, processes, culture, and, last but not least, ICT systems," said Angela Vacca, consulting manager, European Vertical Markets. "ICT systems will need to become even more efficient, reliable, flexible, and secure than before and, in general, will need to adapt to changed business requirements. In particular, we have to note that businesses are expanding geographically and possibly have to accomplish administrative procedures online, therefore information and communication technologies become center stage."
Amongst the most important of the directive's effects will be:
>> Easier geographic expansion across EU countries: The objective of the Services Directive is to remove legal and administrative barriers to trade in the services sector across the EU. Therefore, this will spur demand for mobile applications, mobile devices, networking infrastructure, as well as (Software-as-a-Service) SaaS applications that can be easily accessed from everywhere.
>> Increased competition: Competition is likely to increase as companies will cross borders more easily and start-ups are more likely to be created. This is expected to spur the need for improved customer-facing applications and project management tools.
>> Administrative burden reduction: As the directive requires member states to allow services companies to accomplish online and remotely all necessary formalities and procedures, IDC expects greater demand for content and document management solutions. Also, securing data as it is exchanged via the Internet and while on storage will be key. (IDC: ra)
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