CIOs Fix Outsourcing Problems By Putting The Fox In Charge Of The Chickens

In IT, can the fox successfully watch over the chickens?
In IT, can the fox successfully watch over the chickens?
Image Credit: digitalprimate

I’m sure that by now you’ve read some of the stories that are out there about CIOs who managed to get themselves into outsourcing contracts that turned out badly. The reasons that the deals took a turn for the worse are many and varied, but the end result is the same: the CIO’s customers were left feeling unsatisfied. Since you are the person with the CIO job, you sure don’t want that to happen to you. What’s the secret to making your next outsourcing job go well?

A New Approach To Outsourcing

One of the big questions that many CIOs ask is: “Why change anything?” The answer is pretty simple. In the old way of doing outsourcing, you’d pick a company to outsource your work to and then you’d also ask them to keep an eye on how they were doing that work. Sorta like having Accenture tell Accenture what to do. This never seemed to work out well.

All too often outsourcing projects got out of hand. The outsourcing project would go off track, data centers would become a jumbled mess, and internal staff would become dishearten. Despite the importance of information technology, even relatively simple outsourcing projects like data center consolidations can become a nightmare.

CIOs who find themselves in charge of an outsourcing project that has gone wrong need to take immediate action. The first step is often to create an IT executive leadership council that will help to guide internal IT decision making. The next step is often to rebid the outsourcing projects. You can’t keep doing the things that aren’t working. This is when you’ll have a chance to try something new: the services integrator model.

Why The Services Integrator Model Just Might Work

In part due to the failings of past outsourcing efforts, the services integrator model has been created. This is a new way of trying to make sure that your next outsourcing project will be a success. This model involves including an outsourcing vendor to act as a master service integrator – effectively watching over the other outsourcers.

The reason that people in the CIO position are flocking to this new outsourcing model is because it offers them both more flexibility and visibility into how an outsourcing project is going. Having one of your outsourced providers dedicated to overseeing the project should allow for impartial feedback on the true status of the project.

The ultimate goal of this new way of organizing outsourcing projects is to avoid the pitfalls that have befuddled IT in the past. The services integrator model offers the possibility of improved IT transparency. The hope is that this will be accompanied by improved services being delivered to IT end users.

What All Of This Means For You

Outsourcing has never been easy to do and in the past few years as the outsourcing deals have gotten larger and larger the risks to CIOs have only grown in scope. What has been missing up until now has been a way to do outsourcing in a less risky fashion.

A new technique that is starting to be adapted is to add more vendors to an outsourcing contract. One set of vendors is there to perform the actual work. The other set of vendors is there to ensure that the first set of vendors actually does the work. CIOs believe that this approach offers them more flexibility and visibility.

It is still unclear if this new approach is going to solve all of the problems that CIOs have been having with outsourcing. However, it does appear to offer a great deal of hope. We are going to have to watch and see what happens. If it works, then once again outsourcing may become a key part of how IT chooses to do business.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that a single outsourced firm can perform the job of watching all of the other outsourcing firms?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

In the modern IT department, CIOs are called upon to perform many different tasks. I believe that we can all agree that one of the most important of these tasks is managing and mentoring the next generation of IT leaders. Today’s new arrivals seem to be so different from when we joined the firm that a lot of us simply don’t know where to start when it comes to showing them the way.

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