Thursday, July 06, 2006

Lessons Learned from Diamond Cluster Global Outsourcing Study:

In the qualitative portion of the research, DC asked Buyers and Providers to share their insights and experience with their peers. The following is a representative sample of their first-hand observations from the front lines of outsourcing.

• Outsourcing is always harder than you originally thought.
• Cost savings alone is not a good reason to outsource.
• Leverage resources with experience and skills in outsourcing to help you develop your own sourcing strategies and execution roadmaps.
• Clearly define your goals, measurement metrics and exit strategies up front.
• Well-defined governance structures and proactive management and communication are the keys to success.
• Structure your vendor relationships as win/win propositions.
• Outsourcing your problems won’t solve them. You should fix potential problems first before you hand over the process to someone else.
• Establishing very specific and measurable SLAs is crucial for evaluating performance.
• Give providers a chance to be successful. Transitions take time.
• Due diligence on providers is essential if you want to avoid surprises.
• Internal resistance to outsourcing can be managed but you have to foster proactive and candid communications to succeed.

• Successful outsourcing requires strong buyer commitment.
• Be prepared to talk to buyers in terms of business value.
• Buyers and providers need to be long-term partners.
• Buyers should recognize that providers need time to be effective. Bringing on an outsourcer can’t happen over night.
• Buyer expectations and objectives are always evolving. Make sure you understand them at the outset and are nimble enough to satisfy them when they change.
• Resistance to outsourcing and uncertainty about its value are still issues in many organizations.
• Contracts and negotiations need to be customized for each situation.
• It’s still difficult for outsourcing firms to differentiate themselves and cost is still very important to buyers.
• You’ve got to be able to work closely and communicate clearly with buyer management to be successful.
• Cultural differences need to be acknowledged and managed.
• Establishing a mutual understanding about governance structures, SLAs and performance expectations is critical.

Profile of the Participants:

DiamondCluster’s Global Outsourcing Study includes the insights of 210 buyers and 242 providers of outsourcing services.

All of the participants are either directly involved or highly aware of their company’s outsourcing-related decisions.

The number of total employees in the participating companies ranged from 100 to more than 50,000. The number of IT employees on staff ranged from less than 100 to more than 50,000. IT budgets of participating companies ranged from less than $5 million to more than $500 million. Buyers participating in the survey conduct business in the financial services, professional services, insurance, consumer products, retail, telecommunications and public sectors.

The providers participating in the study range in size from less than 100 to more than 10,000 employees. Many of the outsourcing providers had operations in multiple locations, including Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Malaysia, the Netherlands,Romania, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam.

Source: DiamondCluster Research

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