Europe’s tech leaders increase focus on digital transformation as business models shift across all sectors

Business models at European IT companies are increasingly shifting away from core IT services towards digital transformation capabilities as business models shift across all sectors, according to Atos Group EVP and Group General Secretary, Alexandre Menais, who was speaking with TMT Finance ahead of Tech M&A Forum 2019, taking place in London on May 22.

“At Atos, we are no longer talking about IT services, but digital transformation. It is no longer the exclusive field of CTOs or CIOs, or even the CFOs. CDOs and every operational function, including sales, marketing and even the CEO, are involved as well as the customers of IT services firms. They need to adapt their marketing / sales / and GTM model and this significantly impacts the delivery model,” he says.

The rise in importance of digital transformation is driving growth trends across the industry, with David Howson, CEO, Six Degrees Group, explaining to TMT Finance in an exclusive video interview the fundamental reason why more businesses are embracing cloud computing, as part of this digital transformation journey.

“There’s a change in why cloud computing is being adopted by businesses”, he said. “A few years ago it was very cost and efficiency driven, but what we’re seeing businesses embrace now is that cloud computing can really enable their digital transformation and that enables their digital working, security and compliance, those key trends in their business. I don’t think this was recognised a few years ago. The clients embracing that digital transformation are proving to be more competitive than their peers.”

Part of the push towards digital transformation includes the convergence of cloud and SaaS, Atos’ Menais added, with cybersecurity another important part of the conversation. Opportunities for M&A in cybersecurity are increasing, particularly in Europe, according to Menais, driven by the increasing priority of security for all types of company. “This is true, as business models continue to move into the digital world and greater security becomes a necessity”, he says.

“Recently we have seen private equity buyers take a large share of deals in cybersecurity as well as in payments, where PE buyers have recognized the structural growth trend of this segment, and the high stock market valuations providing attractive exit prospects.  This trend first emerged in the US, and we expect this to continue and to reach Europe over the coming years – especially for cyber,” he comments.

Martin McCourt, EVP Strategy, M&A and CMO of Gemalto, is also seeing seeing an increase in investor appetite in cybersecurity. “There’s currently intense activity in cybersecurity M&A and it’s very much strategic versus private equity, with the latter now very attracted by subscription-based business, which more and more cybersecurity companies are moving towards,” he said in an exclusive video interview for TMT Finance.

For Thomas Koehrer, Head of Technology Banking at UBS, traditional sectors such as banking, retail and manufacturing are also seeing seismic shifts, and in some cases, are using M&A to adapt to changes.

“The frontier between traditional business models and technology is increasingly blurred”, he told TMT Finance. “Every single business is penetrated by new tech and has to adjust to this. Sectors such as retail, banking, industrials and manufacturing all must absorb and embrace this digital transformation which very often has to be done partly through M&A. This digital transformation also suddenly changes their competitive environment and they may also have to merge with other legacy players in certain instances, for example in retail where we have already seen the impact of this with large scale M&A activity, but also each business is trying to adjust and use bolt-on organic growth to transform its business’, he said.

Meet Alexandre Menais, Thomas Koehrer, David Howson and Martin McCourt, alongside over 250 other Tech M&A leaders and investors at the Tech M&A Forum 2019, May 22, in London, part of the 2-day TMT M&A Forum 2019.

Taking place on May 22, Tech M&A Forum 2019 features speakers from: Atos, PwC, Software AG, Apax Partners, Gemalto, Linklaters, Cognizant, BMW Group, Goldman Sachs, Logicalis, SETL, Qardio, Babylon Health, Societe Generale, ING and many more.

Over 150 speakers and 350 delegates are expected at the event which is senior executive only and Chatham House Rules. The event features over 60 interactive sessions including plenary leadership panels, breakout deep dives, hosted round tables; strategy workshops, keynote presentations and networking events.

TMT Finance is the leading global news and events provide for telecom, media and tech executives active in mergers and acquisitions, financing strategy and investment.

For more information on the Tech M&A Forum 2019 go to http://tmtfinance.com/merger/tech 

For more information on the TMT M&A Forum 2019 go to http://tmtfinance.com/merger 

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