There are several examples of torn and tarnished relationships between enterprises and service providers in the world of outsourcing. While the best relationships are often touted in shiny case studies and presented in customer forums, there are lessons to be learnt from those that are not showcased but bring as much if not more value in sharing what works best and what does not, in service provider relationship management.
Many enterprises assume that once a service provider has been chosen and entrusted the task of running parts of their IT department, they can leave the provider to deliver the expected outcomes and not worry about being continuously engaged with them. However, in most cases this can result in some disastrous results with the fact being known too late in the game. It is important for enterprises to stay engaged with their service providers and in fact possibly more than they would with their own in-house IT teams to ensure the expected results are delivered for business. Here are the top three reasons from my conversations with CIOs and service leaders with provider firms:
- Business context is prime : Whatever be the nature of work that you have outsourced to a provider, it cannot be stressed enough that it needs to be aware of the business context of your organization and to provide the IT services wrapper around it. Not having the right business context can lead service providers to make costly assumptions which would be difficult to correct at later stages. By being in touch with your service provider teams in regular conversations and performance reviews, you share the insights and business dynamics that may seem commonplace to you but may in fact not be known to the providers at all.
- Out of sight, is out of mind : Not being in touch often leads to the out of sight, out of mind syndrome. That change in policy, that new architecture plan and so much more come the way of a CIO and her team and if they are in touch with the service providers’ teams, they will remember to share them or understand when these are required in due course of their interactions. I remember an incident where an offshore service provider team worked over weeks and months to analyze and correct Top 10 “noisy servers” in their client’s environment, only to be informed later that those Top 10 servers that were noisy and often behaving erratically were in fact test servers being put through erratic load for test purposes!! If only the client team was aware of this initiative in advance and had provided their inputs, the teams would have been better placed to leverage their efforts in the right direction.
- Expectations and Requirements Continuously Evolve : In contracts that run over months and years, the initial set of requirement often evolves as business and IT teams address changing market scenarios and company priorities. A continuous dialog helps ensure that these changes and mid-course corrections are effectively communicated and understood by the service provider teams.
The above issues are further magnified with offshore service provider teams where they are few thousands of miles further away from the client locations, across a cultural barrier.
Catacient’s Outsourcing Delivery Assurance service enables enterprises to actively engage with their IT service providers. With its local presence in India, enterprises can have their own on-demand vendor management office in India which can work closely with offshore based provider teams as well. Catacient’s governance framework and focus on delivery management helps ensure service provider teams keep the enterprises high on their priority list too.
Reach out to us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to know more on how this could work for your company (or clients if you are an advisory firm). We could also work out an initial one week no-obligation engagement for you to see the value this service brings.