Outsourcing success relies on preparation
Professor Ilan Oshri from the Loughborough School of Business has written an interesting guest blog for
Professor Ilan Oshri from the Loughborough School of Business has written an interesting guest blog for Computer Weekly discussing the factors behind the growth in the global IT outsourcing market. Professor Oshri also runs the Centre for Global Sourcing and Services’ (CGSS) based at Loughborough. It is one of very few institutions in the world dedicated to looking at outsourcing. In his post, Professor Oshri provides one very important – dare I say – vital piece of advice to organisations, whatever their reasons for outsourcing are, and regardless of whether they choose the offshore, nearshore, onshore or mixed-shoring approach: “Success in outsourcing is often the result of good preparation on both sides: the client firm and the vendor. Client firms should prepare their IT or business processes for outsourcing by clearly defining their expectations from such partnership while vendors should investigate and realize the client’s level of readiness for outsourcing. Short cuts or over-confidence that things will be OK are just recipe for disaster.”
This essential point is so often forgotten, especially by companies that are under pressure to deliver something they don’t have the internal resources for. Outsourcing one project can be a short-term fix, but if you go into the contract thinking about it as a long-term partnership, you are likely to get a much better result, even from your first project. There is just one thing in Professor Oshri’s blog that I disagree with. He mentions that when it comes to near-shore destinations, “… access to talent is limited in scale in particular in the area of engineering.” I think that this is too much of a generalisation – certainly with software development engineers. We do not suffer from the shortages of quality software engineers that destinations like India sometimes see. While we do not have the size of the Indian population at our disposal and our outsourcing industry is not as large, we do have high numbers of highly-skilled technical graduates. In fact I feel that one of the strengths of destinations like Poland is our combination of quantity and quality.
Anyway, that aside, I look forward to the next piece of research from the Centre for Global Sourcing and Services – I am sure the Centre has put in plenty of preparation!