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Outsourcing it the Right Way 2013

Debarati Roy | Jan. 21, 2013
If you are among the 48 percent of CIOs who, according to the State of the CIO Survey, are planning to invest in outsourcing significantly in the coming year, it is likely that you will find that phrase under your breath quite often in the near future.

At Sterlite, Puliakottu didn't have to go through the trouble of developing a mobile solution for the company's e-mail. "Google is my partner for outsourcing the hosting and management of a utility service such as e-mail. And Google has an existing robust mobility platform for e-mail which came as a value add for us," he says.

DIY first, consult later. "Though there are various templates available for sourcing agreements, it is advisable to engage a consultant at the very least to incorporate current market intelligence and pricing. A consultant brings legal and other expertise that many CIOs might not have," says Pai.

But if leaders aren't careful, the cost of third-party assistance in setting up an IT services deal can quickly spiral out of control. And that's not even accounting for an attorneys' billable hours.

One way to ensure you don't fall into this trap is to bring in a legal and technology consultants only after you have had a go at creating a blueprints by yourself first.

Decide on a vendor strategy. It is an age-old topic that attracts extreme polarities in view. While some IT leaders swear by best-of-breed, others are gung-ho about the single vendor approach.

Goyal decided to go down the single vendor route, but how do you find a partner that can do it all?"I tried to narrow down to the best in the lot and then look for the one partner that could ensure end-to-end delivery. Some of the bigger MNCs have built that kind of capabilities," Goyal says.

Over the last two years of outsourcing, Puliakottu had accumulated a bunch of partners and is now on a consolidation drive due to manageability issues. "Seamless integration of partners can become a big challenge, so choose your vendor strategy wisely," he warns.

Make your partner you buddy. A commonly held notion is that once you have outsourced, the baggage is off your back. Restrain from developing a myopic focus of concentrating on just what you have outsourced. Pick up the phone and talk to your vendor sometimes even when the alarm bells are not ringing.

"I sit down and talk with my vendors three times a day on average. That might seem like holding the reigns too tight to some of the CIOs, but being a HIPAA compliant organization means that I cannot take any chances with security and compliance," says Goyal.

He says that these conversations can be highly informative. "While I continuously keep my partner updated on what is happening in the industry, they keep me informed about the new technologies and how these can possibly help us make a better organization," says Goyal.


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