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11 outsourcing resolutions you should make in 2011

Stephanie Overby | Dec. 23, 2010
As the dawn of 2011 approaches, we offer eleven resolutions for the striving outsourcing customer

Resolution #6: I won't believe the hype.

Approach new cloud-based services the way you would any other IT service option. Resist the urge to jump if you don't know what you're getting into, advises Edward J. Hansen, New-York based partner for Baker & McKenzie. "It is an interesting new service not a silver bullet," says independent sourcing consultant Mark Ruckman. Repeat this for every hot new emerging technology, process, or service you're vendor is hawking next year.

Resolution #7: I will create rules and live by them.

Make it a point not only to conduct regular governance reviews of your outsourcing deals, but actually attend the meetings, advises Vashistha of Neo Advisory. If you're paying a third party to do this work for you, consider letting them go. You'll save money and be more involved. "Stop blowing large chunks of your budget on expensive consultants to do work your own team can do," says Fersht of HfS Research.

Resolution #8: I will pay attention to my bills.

When's the last time you read-and completely understood-your outsourcing invoice? "By year three, invoices degenerate into a fifteen-page laundry list of indecipherable statements of work, metrics and charges which only one person on your team really understands," says Sanda Partners' Strichman. It shouldn't be that way. "Force your vendor to consolidate it, rework it, and provide something that makes sense [given] your current situation," Strichman says. You'll be surprised how many charges were misunderstood, out of date, or inaccurate and the exercise could beget a long overdue conversation about brewing problems.

Resolution #9: I will measure what matters.

Make 2011 the year that you define metrics that are meaningful to the business, says Ruckman, and start tracking and reporting on them regularly. If your WAN is only up 98 percent of the time, and you're still clinging to that 99.99 percent service uptime metric, it's time to rethink your benchmarks. "Stop including imaginary service levels your consultant dreamt up," says Fersht.

Resolution #10: I will seek out the best partner for me.

Simply going with a three-letter brand name outsourcer or advisor isn't always the best move. In fact, it can be a costly mistake. "There is lots of competition in the outsourcing market today," says EquaTerra's Ayling. "You will always find a supplier who has the right capabilities for you, and, where what you spend with them will make you important to them." Take an unsparing look at your vendors and advisors, says Baker & McKenzie's Hansen. If they don't share your core values, show them the door.

Resolution #11: I will have fun.

The economy remains grim. IT and outsourcing are hard. And you haven't seen your budget inch up in three years. "But technology has never been more exciting with mobile apps, social media, and so forth," says Staples of Mindtree. "Use the new technology to bring fun back into your organization and energize your business for growth."


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