New IDC MarketScape Evaluates Life Science R&D Strategic Consulting Service Vendors

Framingham, MA – February 6, 2014 – IDC Health Insights announced today the availability of a new IDC MarketScape report, "IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Life Science R&D Strategic Consulting Services 2013 Vendor Assessment,” (Document # HI246518), the final report of a three-part life science R&D IDC MarketScape series.  The new report seeks to compare major service providers with each other, based on criteria that should be important to life science companies when considering the selection of a strategic consulting partner to help provide guidance for strategic, operational, and tactical transformation issues within the R&D space. Vendors evaluated in this report include:  Accenture, Boston Consulting Group (BCG),Cognizant Technology, Solutions, Deloitte, HCL Technologies, IBM, iGate, Indegene, Infosys, L&T Infotech, McKinsey, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Syntel and Tech Mahindra.

Of the estimated $14 billion worldwide IT outsourcing life science services market, strategic consulting in the R&D space is expected to contribute almost $1.4 billion in 2013.  When combined with BPO and strategic consulting services, IDC Health Insights expects that the total IT services market will continue to grow at double digit rates over the next five years, with an average annual growth rate of 12%.  Strategic consulting services cover the entire life science R&D value chain with offerings ranging from drug discovery to clinical drug development to drug safety to regulatory compliance and beyond.  These services are increasing and expanding in importance as the life science companies transform themselves in pursuit of long term sustainability. 

According to Alan Louie, Ph.D., research director of IDC Health Insights' clinical development, technology, and strategy research, "As part of the ongoing industry transformation, strategic consulting in the life sciences is continuing to grow rapidly as companies seek to smooth transitions and optimize operational and business performance, with a hope of regaining long term sustainability.  In combination with BPO and ITO efforts, effective use of external resources is becoming a critical component of life science corporate strategies for success.  The selection of optimal partners to develop and help execute these increasingly externalized complex business strategies will contribute significantly to a company's success in the future.” 

With BPO, IT outsourcing, and external partnerships and collaborations increasingly the norm, strategic consulting services are evolving to incorporate new business best practices and expanding organizational footprints, while concurrently optimizing both cost and organizational agility.  While some general pressures exist for life science companies to consolidate their vendor ecosystem into a limited number of preferred providers, the high profile nature of strategic consulting has limited consolidation efforts in this area.  Where appropriate, leading IT service providers are actively and aggressively working to expand their offerings to include strategic consulting capabilities, typically in areas adjacent to vendor service strengths.

According to IDC Health Insights, key attributes that life science companies are looking for in their service providers include:

Deep, life science industry and/or technology-specific knowledge (where appropriate) in the area of interest

Practical understanding of application, platform, framework, and infrastructure best practices where needed

Operational experience in the area of interest, as appropriate

Understanding of the life science business at both company and tactical levels

Access to industry-adjacent best practice knowledge, where appropriate

Ability to deliver both strategic guidance and direct implementation support for the project of interest

Strong reference-able clients

At the next level, additional factors that life science companies may consider during their vendor selection include:

The ability to work effectively with multiple stakeholders (including competing service providers) to drive transformation initiatives regardless of organizational boundaries

Internal agreement on the relative importance of quality versus cost in the selection of the service provider

The ability to deliver a unified service capability over multiple service or geographical areas

The potential to seamlessly expand services delivered across BPO, ITO, and strategic consulting as part of preferred vendor relationships

Compatible corporate cultures

Historic corporate relationships that could impact vendor selection

Over the near term, IDC Health Insights expects that the use of external services will continue to grow as organizations seek to navigate through increasingly complex global, regulatory, and operational ecosystems.  Leading vendors, as preferred partners who understand their sponsor's business almost as well as their sponsors and have the capacity to deliver superior services, will be key to helping their clients succeed, both now and in the future.

IDC MarketScape criteria selection, weightings, and vendor scores represent well-researched IDC judgment about the market and specific vendors. IDC analysts tailor the range of standard characteristics by which vendors are measured through structured discussions, surveys, and interviews with market leaders, participants and end users. Market weightings are based on user interviews, buyer surveys and the input of a review board of IDC experts in each market. IDC analysts base individual vendor scores, and ultimately vendor positions within the IDC MarketScape, on detailed surveys and interviews with the vendors, publicly available information and end-user experiences in an effort to provide an accurate and consistent assessment of each vendor's characteristics, behavior and capability.

For additional information about this report or to arrange a one-on-one briefing with Alan Louie, Ph.D., please contact Sarah Murray at 781-378-2674 or Reports are available to qualified members of the media. For information on purchasing reports, contact; reporters should email

About IDC MarketScapes

IDC MarketScape vendor analysis model is designed to provide an overview of the competitive fitness of IT, telecommunications, or industry-specific suppliers in a given market. The research methodology utilizes a rigorous scoring methodology based on both qualitative and quantitative criteria that results in a single graphical illustration of each vendor’s position within a given market. IDC MarketScape provides a clear framework in which the product and service offerings, capabilities and strategies, and current and future market success factors of IT, telecommunications, or industry-specific vendors can be meaningfully compared. The framework also provides technology buyers with a transparent foundation to allow companies to independently compare the strengths and weaknesses of current and prospective vendors.

About IDC Health Insights

IDC Health Insights assists health businesses and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them, in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing the payer, provider and life sciences industries. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit, email, or call 508-935-4445. Visit the IDC Health Insights Community at