Outsourcing's Innovation Crisis

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So, who's to blame? Outsourcers for selling themselves as potential partners in innovation, knowing they won't deliver? Customers, for having expectations that the know doesn't line up with the traditional outsourcing business model?

Better question: what's the solution? I've got respected IT leaders and experts whispering in one of my ears that the most you should expect from an outsourcer is for them to truly commoditize the services they're providing and someday be able to do it so well that you don't have to worry about those things anymore. Then you can focus on innovating. In the other ear, I've got respected IT leaders and experts saying that there's a better way. If you move outside the box of the traditional outsourcing RFP process and ongoing governance, you can work with an outsourcer in a way that yields more innovation.

Who's got it right? I'm leaning toward the latter. If you want innovation from your outsourcing, innovate around the outsourcing process. It's risky, but maybe it's worth a shot.

Stephanie Overby

Senior Editor

CIO magazine and CIO.com

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Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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