CBR Online (registration required) reports today on the revenue performance of the world's 50 largest systems integrator (SI) and professional IT services vendors. The report makes for interesting reading, and reinforces the trends toward smaller, nimbler, off-shore concerns bulking up business at the expense of the largest U.S. and European providers.
I still think that SOA will be the gift that keeps giving to such professional services firms this decade, it's just that the margins will be tightening and the cream of the work will be elevating to the business verticals expertise and organizational productivity transformation roles. So a large enterprise may look to a nimble SOA technology services provider from India, while working with Accenture on the role of technology in its business development evolution, while still seeking out vertical expertise from yet another professional services provider in their space.
And this trend will either spur a consolidation binge for single providers to try and offer one-stop shopping, or it will lead to the best-of-breed, market segmentation approach for such services, sort of like open source adoption patterns. So as enterprises make choices on a consolidated technology stack approach (or not), they will need to make a similar decision on the services and support side. These decisions ought to be made in deep concert, especially with an SOA.
It will be interesting to see if the decision to go to one "pure" stack, such as Microsoft's, will mesh with the one-stop for professional services choice. Or will these approaches toward stack and SI choices clash in practice -- that is the single professional services provier actually suggests and reinforces the use of mixed technology. After all, complexity in technology aids and abets a top-down need for comprehensive profession services.