Deloitte's report Outsourcing, Today and Tomorrow, just published, attempts to define the secret sauce for outsourcing. The authors are engagingly frank:
"We wish we could wrap up this paper with a pithy summary of the secrets of effective outsourcing, boiled down into a neat list of easy-to-digest bullet points. Unfortunately, if such secrets exist, no one has yet discovered them."
But they go on to suggest 'one possible candidate' for outsourcing's secret sauce:
"The recognition that outsourcing, like other complex business practices, is a discrete business discipline requiring specialized skills that cannot easily be developed on the fly."
Which may be true - let's agree it's one of the essential spices - but it overlooks an essential ingredient, arguably the foundation for outsourcing's secret sauce: a platform for effective collaboration, which surely lies at the heart of successful outsourcing.
This platform provides a common language: end-to-end process, expressed in the language of the business, not IT-speak. It is comprehensive, not just IT-oriented. It provides integrated perspectives, not just a repository of process fragments. It is wrapped within a robust governance framework to enable process stakeholders - across the enterprise and including especially IT - to effectively manage change. And, crucially, it enables deployment to process users in a way that is personalised, intuitive and engaging.
The Deloitte report - which polled 100+ sourcing professionals earlier this year - provides ample evidence that this need for a common language, a framework for more effective collaboration, is real and growing:
Outsourcing is big - a $480bn industry this year - and set to expand. So too is offshoring. But operational roles and responsibilities are often amazingly unclear. [There is far too much focus simply on contractual negotiations]
Cloud will vastly increase its complexity. [as will Social, Mobile and Big Data]
Churn is increasing: half of clients have terminated contracts for convenience, sometimes to insource, most often to re-outsource. [Managing complex dynamic multisourced service delivery environments is becoming the norm]
Innovation and sustainable success in continuous improvement can't work without it. [Innovation and continuous improvement is the area where organizations report that they are least effective in working with service providers].
21 Aug 2012 How To Simplify Global Shared Services
20 Jun 2012 Process: The Emerging Global Business Language