In this article from Computing SA the author reports on the need for an IT strategist in SME outsourcing vendors. The stated reason for this is that most SMEs outsource IT because they view it as a cost centre and not a value add. There are often issues that interfere with the smooth running of the business, and it is area that requires continual investment. Better to outsource the whole business unit and let someone else run it. This is where the vendor IT strategist comes in.
That this often happens is perhaps a lack of understanding related to outsourcing as a whole. Organisations often assume that if a function is broken, outsourcing it will fix it. It is left to the vendor to attempt to pick up the pieces, resolve process issues and start to provide the value add to the customer. Vendors are often too quick to grab a piece of business without analysing what they are getting into. One of the prime edits of outsourcing is "Never outsource a problem", if you can’t fix it how do you expect an external company to fix it.
With a large proportion of outsource projects failing, perhaps another approach is required. Stating that outsource vendors should invest in IT strategists is not the answer. They should instead be working closer with the client to build up a relationship in which they can advise on outsourcing rather than the client land grab we currently see. Taking on a broken process will only result in strained relationships and another black mark related to outsourcing.
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