HfS Research Blueprint and Emerging Market Guide Definitions

HfS Research publishes Blueprint and Emerging Market reports to help the service buyer and advisor/consultant with making the appropriate match for services and outsourcing engagements, and for sharing with the service provider an “outside in” point of view on competitive positioning and differentiation. There are three types of reports: HfS Blueprint, HfS Emerging Market Guide, and HfS Blueprint Snapshot.


These reports all cover market activity, service provider analysis, and recommendations to service buyers and providers for business-outcome-oriented engagement. The analysis includes a grid of the leading service providers in the market segment and additional players that qualify at the analyst’s discretion. Our research team uses surveys, interviews, client references, and briefings—primary and secondary research– as input to our reports. In cases where there is a shortfall in client references, we use analyst judgment based on secondary research, experience, and conversation with industry experts and stakeholders.


What’s unique about the HfS Blueprints and Emerging Market Guides?


  • In the evaluation of the market activity, we consider the way service buyers and service providers are using the combination of talent and technology to impact business outcomes through partnership. We look for examples of the Eight Ideals of the As-a-Service Economy (here).
  • In the evaluation of the service providers, HfS analysis is of the Execution (e.g., account management, continuous improvement, service delivery quality) and Innovation (e.g., training and capability development, use of digital technologies, innovation methods and results, vision).


You can find more information about the reports (here) and a schedule (here).



Description / Scope



HfS Blueprint Report

Covers established areas of business process and IT services and outsourcing, such as:


Function: F&A, HR, Procurement, Supply Chain

IT: SaaS Services, Application IT Infrastructure Management & Cloud Services, Digital Technology Strategy & Consulting Services

Industry Specific: Insurance As-a-Service, Healthcare Payer Operations, Energy Operations, Embedded Engineering

Enabling Services & Capabilities: Managed Security Services, Design Thinking for the As-a-Service Economy


Providers included: Top 8 providers (no opt out) plus analyst selection

Uses an RFI process with a questionnaire (reduced for the Emerging Market Guide), vendor briefings, and interviews with clients and the HfS network.  

Also taps into broader HfS survey data and analysis.

• Executive Summary

• State of the Market Segment (e.g., value chain, definition and examples of the 8 Ideals of the As-a-Service Economy relevant to the space, themes & trends in the market/in outsourcing & services engagement)

• Service Provider Grid and Analysis (detailed profile page/service provider)

• Recommendations for Service Buyers and Service Providers

HfS Emerging Market Guide

Explains emerging services market areas for services and outsourcing, such as predictive analytics for HR, blockchain services for BFSI, and Watson services.


Providers included: Top 6 providers (no opt out) plus analyst selection

• Definition and overview of what’s interesting about this emerging services market

• Service provider grid and profiles with analysis

• Market direction

• Recommendations

HfS Blueprint Snapshot

Provides a view of the market landscape and emerging service providers (e.g., RPA solutions vendors, IT services in banking).


Providers included: Top 4 in the market “slice” plus analyst selection

Leverages existing research (e.g., survey, Blueprint Report) that may be supplemented with additional briefings and interviews with the HfS network.

• Overview of specific market/product set/industry

• Analysis of leading and emerging players (grid or detailed profiles at the discretion of the analyst)

• Market direction and what to watch