Sam Duncan

Sam Duncan is a Senior Research Analyst at HFS, based in Cambridge UK. He graduated from Bournemouth University with a degree in economics, throughout which he took a particular interest in macroeconomics, mainly how the evolution of technology accelerated globalization. Throughout his education he also spent some time studying law, accounting and investment management.

Since joining HFS, Sam has developed his understanding of blockchain and continues to explore the latest applications of the technology across a range of industries. He has applied his economics background to keep on top of the latest trends on the banking and financial services industry, and has taken a keen interest in insurance. On top of this he contributes to the HFS Market Index, a quarterly report which breaks down the performance and key events of the leading service providers throughout the previous quarter.

When he’s not keeping on top of the latest market developments, Sam enjoys playing for his local rugby club and can often be found sampling the produce of local breweries.

Content By Sam Duncan

Points of View

Banks must digitalize debt collection processes to survive the pandemic

If you’re an avid reader of our research, you will have undoubtedly read the highlight report we published on EXL PayMentor. In it, we outlined EXL’s solution that aimed to collect debt faster and more efficiently. While maximizing process efficiency using tools like EXL PayMentor is always beneficial, it has become increasingly important...

Highlight Reports

HFS Highlight: Celonis’ newly launched EMS solution brings it one step closer to being THE platform where work gets done

Process intelligence has really picked up steam in recent months: enterprises of every shape and size are recognizing it as a crucial step in any process excellence or automation journey, and several technology venders have emerged to service their every...

Market Analysis

Market Index Q2 2020

This report provides: A look at the key events and activities that impacted the market over the last three months, including contracts/M&A. A list of major M&A activity for the quarter. Quarterly contracting signing analysis. A rundown of the quarterly...

Points of View

Pinpointing major areas of growth will be the key to provider’s survival in the pandemic economy.

These are truly uncertain times; the pandemic has completely transformed the world as we know it and demand trends continue to shift daily in an unpredictable fashion. This means pressure is really mounting on enterprises to constantly adapt if they...

Highlight Reports

HFS Highlight: Will the pandemic grind the Mphasis growth story to a halt? We don’t think so…

HFS recently attended Mphasis’ Virtual Analyst and Advisor Day, which boasted 10 clients presenting and participating, to check in on how this dynamic mid-tier growth firm has been faring during this generally cruddy year. You may already know that the...

Hot Vendors

HFS Hot Vendors Q3 2020

The HFS Hot Vendors are an exclusive group of emerging players, each with a differentiated value proposition for the Digital OneOfficeTM. HFS analysts speak with numerous exciting startups and emerging players. We designate a select group as the HFS Hot...

Points of View

Are North American enterprises missing the process intelligence party? Don’t be fashionably late.

As the dust settles and we adjust to a world beyond the initial pandemic shock, one thing has become incredibly clear: enterprises cannot rely on legacy technologies and inefficient processes. Luckily for them, there’s a range of vendors waiting in...

Highlight Reports

HFS Highlight: The Infosys pandemic pivot – how they transformed from media obsession to the industry’s safe pair of hands

Just a few years ago, Infosys was grappling with a leadership transition and ruthless media attention that called into question many company actions.  Spin forward to now and the company has found itself in a remarkable period of stability where...

Top 10 Reports

HFS Top 10 Process Intelligence Products 2020

What this Top 10 Report covers HFS sees the emerging category of process intelligence as a key change agent technology, bridging the divide of siloed data, analytics, AI, and automation initiatives targeted at improving business operations. The 2020 HFS Top...

Highlight Reports

Infosys weathers the economic downturn winning a huge digital transformation deal with Vanguard Financial

Infosys won a landmark deal with Vanguard, a global asset management firm for technology, operations management and optimization, and digital transformation of Vanguard’s defined contribution (DC) retirement record-keeping business. While terms of the deal were not disclosed, HFS estimates this...

Points of View

Disruption not duct tape is the key for mortgage transformation

If you’re satisfied with incremental advances in mortgage processing, read no further. Earlier this year, HFS wrote about how emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and process automation help the mortgage industry digitize processes and streamline cost and cycle...

Market Analysis

Accenture’s earnings confirm the industry’s expected struggles—and offer a glimmer of hope for providers

The COVID-19 outbreak will transform the world and shake every industry, including IT and business services. While many providers operate on multi-year contracts and can be confident of some continuing revenue, this commitment will likely leave many enterprises reluctant to...

Highlight Reports

HFS Highlight: Infosys partnership with Celonis will help streamline client's SAP S/4HANA migration

If you’re new to the concept of process mining, I suggest you have a quick read of the informative 101 style introduction already on the HFS website, but if it’s something you're familiar with you're probably already wondering how you can leverage...

Points of View

Price cuts and flexible pricing models; it’s time to strike a deal with your provider

The COVID-19 outbreak transformed businesses; many closed their doors, while others slashed spending and preserved cash to help them ride this wave of uncertainty. Inevitably, a lack of enterprise spending will be concerning to almost every service provider that deals...

Points of View

Select a trustworthy blockchain service provider for a successful POC

Enterprises are finally getting serious about blockchain. Enterprise blockchain adoption has gone from being overhyped to being a technology that delivers genuine business value, with many ridiculous proofs of concept rightfully abandoned. In candid conversations with enterprise clients, we have...

Market Analysis

Market Index Q1 2020

This report provides:   A look at the key events and activities that impacted the market over the last three months, including contracts/M&A. A list of major M&A activity for the quarter. Quarterly contracting signing analysis. A rundown of the...

Highlight Reports

HFS Highlight: HCL Domino gets new low-code capabilities in the firm’s latest investment in platform enhancement

Demands shift faster than the weather in today’s world and technology evolves at a rapid pace, meaning incumbents are threatened by disruptors daily. This makes it more important than ever for firms to pivot their offerings to meet demand and...

Highlight Reports

HFS Highlight: EXL PayMentor is taking debt collection digital

There’s always an element of risk for any kind of lending, which is why financial institutions must have efficient debt collection processes. However, the effectiveness of first-party collections, those attempted in the first 90 – 120 days, is inconsistent, expensive,...

Market Analysis

Market Index Q4 2019

This report provides:   A revenue performance review of the leading service providers during calendar 2019. A look at the key events and activities that impacted the market over the last three months, including contracts/M&A. A list of major M&A...

Points of View

Providers must look to blockchain to fix the lack of supply chain transparency exposed by COVID-19

With employers scrambling to purchase IT equipment to facilitate remote working, households stockpiling toilet rolls, and manufacturers struggling to remain operational, global supply chains have never been under so much pressure. We all hope that normality will resume following the...

Points of View

Balance short-term survival during COVID-19 with a long-term talent strategy: Capgemini gives its employees a financial vote of confidence

Technology and enterprise demands are advancing at such a rate that even the most established service providers are struggling to source the necessary talent. This is likely to worsen thanks to COVID-19, as many providers are thinking short-term (see Exhibit...

Top 10 Reports

HFS Top 10 Enterprise Blockchain Services 2020

WHAT THIS REPORT COVERS   Distributed ledger technologies, including blockchain, promises to fundamentally change and disrupt business models, potentially as significant as the internet itself. HFS recognizes blockchain as a Horizon 3 change agent for digital operations with significant value...

Points of View

Service providers must align their offerings with BFS clients’ partner selection priorities

HFS has previously discussed how creaking IT systems and ongoing pressure from emerging mid-tier providers intensify competition for banking and financial services (BFS) deals. Exhibit 1 shows how BFS executives’ priorities differ from other industries when choosing an external service...

Points of View

Mortgage innovation cannot stop at the front office! Lenders must beat down back-office process debt to achieve the Digital OneOffice.

In the 10+ years since the global financial crisis, loads of regulations have been put in place to make mortgages safer for all involved. While mortgages in the US are now much less risky, the cost of mortgage origination has...

Hot Vendors

THE HFS HOT VENDORS REPORT Q1 2020

The HFS Hot Vendors are an exclusive group of emerging players, each with a differentiated value proposition for the Digital OneOfficeTM. HFS analysts speak with numerous exciting startups and emerging players. We designate a select group as the HFS Hot...

Points of View

Providers must not forget about blockchain, despite uncertainty from COVID-19

COVID-19 has been stealing global headlines in recent months, and for a good reason. The effects will be catastrophic, with ramifications beyond the obviously devastating human factor—the global economic fallout is front of mind. Business uncertainty is skyrocketing as countries...

Points of View

Providers must act; creaking IT and emergence of mid-tiers means competition for BFS deals ramps up

The banking and financial services (BFS) industry desperately needs change—HFS analysts recently discussed how banks’ creaking IT is coming under the spotlight. Incumbents are running out of time to address their problems. Established service providers have an opportunity to offer...

Points of View

As challenger banks’ profits fail to match their growth, incumbents must continue to invest in digital

Incumbent banks, the traditional and often brick-and-mortar brands that have dominated banking for decades, have been threatened for some time that they’ll fall at the hands of challenger banks. The emergence of Monzo, Revolut, Starling Bank, and many more have...

Points of View

A fireside chat with Mohit Joshi: Introspection and understanding why clients pick their partners are the keys to success

Phil Fersht recently had a candid conversation with Mohit Joshi, President, Infosys, about his views on the banking sector and the future of Infosys and the market as a whole.    Mohit openly admits that he had little knowledge of the technology...

Points of View

A fireside chat with Mohit Joshi: The banking industry must invest in technology to make sense in the new economy

Phil Fersht recently had a candid conversation with Mohit Joshi, President, Infosys, about his views on the banking sector and the future of Infosys and the market as a whole.    Mohit openly admits that he had little knowledge of the technology...

Hot Vendors

THE HFS HOT VENDORS Q4 2019

The HFS Hot Vendors are an exclusive group of emerging players with a differentiated value proposition for the Digital OneOffice. HFS analysts speak with numerous exciting start-ups and emerging players. We designate a select group as the HFS Hot Vendors...

Market Analysis

Early Q4 2019 Results Roundup

This report provides a fast overview into the first wave of financial results from the main service companies covering the calendar Q4 2019 period. It provides   • A revenue performance review of the leading service providers during calendar Q4...

Points of View

HSBC is pioneering blockchain in financial services—don’t find yourself playing catchup!

  Since the advent of blockchain, banking and financial services (BFS) has been one of the technology’s leading industries in terms of applications.  Exhibit 1 leverages data from the HFS Blockchain Case Study Treasury, showing BFS as the most popular...

Points of View

Blockchain offers a solution to solve cross-border trade issues, but stakeholders must come together

Globalization has allowed countries to specialize in producing the goods or services that offer them the lowest opportunity cost, meaning international trade is crucial for economic growth. Currently, Maersk  reports that over $4 trillion of goods are shipped each year...

Points of View

Blockchain exploration efforts: accelerate and reduce costs in partnership with academia

Where talent and infrastructure can be in short supply for enterprises, executives must think outside the box to develop their blockchain solutions while simultaneously driving new efficiencies and cost-savings for their firm. Piloting blockchain initiatives in partnership with academia can...

Top 10 Reports

HFS Top 10 Insurance Services 2019

  WHAT THIS TOP TEN REPORT COVERS   The HFS Top 10 Insurance services report examines the role service providers play in the dynamic Insurance industry. We assessed and rated the Insurance-specific service capabilities of 19 service providers across a...

Points of View

Privacy on public blockchains: EY clients and the blockchain curious must leverage this “best of both worlds” breakthrough

For years, blockchain has been labeled “a solution looking for a problem.” Combined with intense hype, it has been considered for every problem ranging from the world hunger crisis to the mystery of who left the office door unlocked last week. We’re finally seeing genuine applications for blockchain emerge to...

Points of View

Are your IT systems working against you? BFS firms must address creaking IT as it comes under the spotlight.

Despite the ongoing emergence of new nimble disruptors, incumbents in the banking and financial services (BFS) industry have remained unphased, continuing to operate on the same legacy systems, reassured by major barriers to entry in the market. However, defending against...

Points of View

Insurers must not underestimate the need to secure the data they collect through IoT

Technology is developing at an impressive pace, and with it, so is the amount of data we generate. Insurers must leverage this growing resource. Historically, valuing risk has been very difficult—it’s virtually impossible to assess each customer individually. But, by deploying IoT, insurers can significantly increase the amount of...

Points of View

To competitively scale future IoT projects, you must build a baseline 5G capability—before it booms

The internet of things (IoT) has already ingrained itself in businesses, homes, and people’s lives—from the humble smartwatch to advanced industrial sensors. However, one of the IoT’s biggest hurdles remains in existing 4G infrastructure. 4G may sufficiently power your Alexa home assistant, but powering an entire smart city becomes problematic when autonomous vehicles or augmented reality need ultra-low latency to succeed for consumers en masse. If enterprises...

Points of View

Enterprise leaders must rethink how they source talent. Wipro and Topcoder can show them how.

  Enterprises and service providers have perfected the traditional labor arbitrage model for sourcing technical talent. Outsourcing has been the core model for bringing in the skills and experience, enterprises need to tackle specific business objectives. However, the world is...

Points of View

Wipro is redefining how clients navigate digital services: Enterprise leaders must shift mindsets to leverage the firm’s growing capabilities

  One of the major defining characteristics of the IT services market for the past decade has been traditional firms’ ability to reinvent themselves as digital. The challenges are myriad. First, the core IT business isn’t going anywhere; it’s an essential building block of the modern enterprise....

Points of View

Insurers must embrace the IoT predict-and-prevent model and grow profit margins

  The insurance model leaves insurers with the burden of repair and replacement pay-outs—it’s a high-risk industry. Pressure on margins is increasingly making insurance a cut-throat game. Ultimately, some things can’t be helped, such as natural disasters, but as new...

Points of View

Insurers: Explore blockchain to cut crippling claim administration costs

  The complexity of insurance means the claims process relies on efficient collaboration among a range of organizations and individuals. The chain of communication necessarily involves the customer and insurance provider—but it also involves other parties such as underwriters, brokers,...

Points of View

If banks want to improve ROI on digital transformation, they need to stop prioritizing efficiency

  We like to keep it simple at HFS Research. Despite lots of fun ways to carve up business outcomes into microcosmic key performance indicators, there are only four measures of success that matter: growing revenue, increasing profit, improving customer...

Points of View

Enterprise leaders must find providers actively investing in innovation across the ecosystem

We seem to talk about innovation endlessly—it’s what we need to keep our customers or woo them from our rivals, and it’s our route to a low-cost nirvana or new revenue streams. But at its core, many enterprises and, indeed,...

Points of View

Service providers shouldn’t put all their eggs in the BFS basket

  The banking and financial services (BFS) market is big. The Banker’s Top 1000 World Banks Ranking for 2018 reports that total assets reached $124 trillion; the BFS industry’s extensive use of IT positions it as a large part of...

Points of View

Insurers must leverage change agents to offer live-time insurance

The insurance industry is ripe for disruption as consumers seek new and innovative ways to insure risk. While for many of the large carriers, basic digitalization is already enough of a headache, for those with a greater appetite for investment...

Points of View

Funding is flooding into insurtech startups—use them to drive innovation

For years now, insurers have coasted with little to no impact from new and emerging technologies. However, the clock has run down—now’s the time to innovate. Customers finally understand the benefits of new technologies; many change agents are mature enough...

Points of View

The Undercover Analyst: Back by unpopular demand, featuring real analysis!

  We’re moving away from the relentless political satire in recent weeks (Hey, we’re only human!). We recently caught sight of an animated discussion on the future of Facebook’s new cryptocurrency at a local bowling alley.       HFS’...

Points of View

Navigate the talent crisis with crowdsourcing, or fall behind the pack

  By now, we all know that the ever-accelerating evolution of technology means new waves of talent are in constant demand. This relentless shifting of the labor market has created a generation of workers who are exploiting the disequilibrium to...

Points of View

Blockchain can underpin your gig economy model ensuring you don’t face Uber-level scrutiny

If there’s one thing that’s clear, the gig economy has hit global markets with force. While the recent Uber IPO and the subsequent protests from drivers are still in the headlines, the reality is that gig work is far from...

Points of View

Big Pharma must partner with blockchain disrupters to drive drug provenance

We have a serious issue with the provenance of genuine pharmaceuticals—counterfeit medications regularly appear in the market, with 10% of medical products circulating in low- and middle-income countries found to be substandard or falsified. But the problems don’t conveniently stop...

Points of View

Manufacturers can’t afford disastrous file-based 3D Printing security blunders

Cybersecurity doesn’t immediately spring to mind when you think of 3D printing, but any enterprise hoping to adopt it at scale must make security a critical, integrated priority. The interconnectivity of devices combined with the concept of printing from a...

Points of View

Blockchain can provide physicians with ready access to patients’ electronic health information

Healthcare providers are under constant pressure to improve patient experiences, and many believe they can achieve this through value-based healthcare—a model where providers’ revenue is dependent on patient outcomes.   Unfortunately for providers, the current structure of the industry means...

Points of View

Palo Alto clients must pay attention to the Demisto acquisition to combat security threats

The cybersecurity space is a complex yet predictable headline generator for mainstream media. Enterprises are pushing their cybersecurity harder than ever to ensure they aren’t the ones that are caught out—a boon for cybersecurity giants such as Palo Alto Networks,...

Market Analysis

Market Index Q1 2019

  This report provides: A revenue performance review of the leading service providers during calendar 2018. An update of HFS' top line market forecast. A look at the key events and activities that impacted the market over the last three...

Points of View

Energy and utility firms must invest in blockchain to thrive in this decentralizing market

The energy and utility market has a long history of disruption, such as the emergence of digital technologies like smart meters and ever evolving energy trends which have culminated in a complex market environment riddled with inefficiencies. Huge barriers to...

Points of View

Blockchain will create genuine transparency for enterprises’ use of renewable energy. Act now.

The emergence of renewable energy and a much greater awareness of fossil fuels’ negative environmental effect have combined to give enterprises a strong social impact and competitive advantage to communicate their use of renewable energy sources. However being able to...

Points of View

Traditional banks: risk losing your customers if you can’t offer them better access

High street banks, you have a problem! Customers are demanding new ways to access and interact with their finances – if they don’t get it from you, they will from someone else. In fact, 59% of banking customers report they...

Points of View

Mphasis Clients: Exploit their growth plans to match your OneOffice ambitions

Over two years have passed since Mphasis moved out of HP’s shadow thanks to a record buyout from private equity firm The Blackstone Group. The prominent hire in January 2017 of CEO Nitin Rakesh has had made an impressive impact...

Points of View

Artificially Intelligent Agriculture Anyone? Aquabyte, Plenty, and Soft Robotics Take Agribusiness into the Robotic Age

Agribusiness is a formidable economic force. The UN estimates that agriculture uses approximately 11% of the world’s land, but in more developed economies like the UK, the figure is nearing 70%. Yet this may still not be enough. University of...

Points of View

Medopad and Babylon Health: Start-ups Help Patients Become Smarter and More Forward-Looking with Their Data

The healthcare industry faces a seemingly endless and escalating range of challenges, ranging from an inability to cope with demand, constant political fights that never seem to get resolved, funding restrictions to data security and sharing knowledge in a specialized...

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