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IT outsourcing: Will CIOs reclaim their power?

Stephanie Overby | May 22, 2012
Independent cloud-based IT service management tools could enable CIOs to wrestle back control of IT once and for all, argues A.T. Kearney's Arjun Sethi. You may make the case that independent software vendors (ISVs) are the CIOs best bet for IT service management. But the IT service providers will say they know outsourcing management better than anyone.

Sethi: We have made the case for ISVs because we fundamentally believe that there is a need here to be provider-agnostic. This is how the service management fabric and its inherent capabilities will remain fungible and usable across vendors. We have no doubt that IT service providers have and are pitching their own tools. Furthermore, there will continue to be acquisition activity in this space. But the high ground is with vendor-agnostic ISVs. With Cloud-based IT operations management, CIOs can tie their vendors to a common service management fabric of policies and processes. But are the traditional IT service providers capable-or willing-to adapt to this?

Sethi: The cloud-based tools require some upfront work in terms of feeding in the information you want to track and setting up processes to maintain its currency. So this does have cost and investment implications, and client organizations have to take the lead. In certain cases, clients may even need to invest in tool licenses for providers to use.

We are seeing a few such implementations and each have required a good upfront effort to baseline current performance, understand process flows and interconnects, and buy licenses. Additionally, they've had to invest in internal resource training. All of this comes at a cost but we believe this is money well spent. There is improved end user experience and an increase in productivity and business performance.



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