9 IT outsourcing mistakes to avoid

A number of common — and costly — pitfalls persist, when it comes to engaging an IT service provider. Here’s how to ensure your IT outsourcing engagements achieve their intended results.

9 IT outsourcing mistakes to avoid
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As IT outsourcing moves well into its third decade, IT decision makers have made great strides in maturity, managing to avoid some common and costly pitfalls of the practice. As clients enter into their next-generation outsourcing deals today, they’re doing a number of things right, says Randy Wiele, managing director with KPMG’s Shared Services and Outsourcing Advisory. They tend to create better service levels that more accurately reflect real performance and end user experience, recognize the importance of service integration and process alignment, keep strategic elements close to home, and develop more flexible contracts  —  just for a start.

However, there are a number of common — and costly — pitfalls that persist, as well as some emerging errors IT leaders are making with their latest outsourcing deals. Taking care to avoid these outsourcing missteps will go a long way toward fostering IT services engagements that achieve their intended results.

Switching providers instead of addressing root causes

IT leaders understand the importance of agility in the digital era, and they’ve put in place shorter outsourcing contracts — often with multiple providers — to maintain that flexibility and leverage. However, some outsourcing customers are too focused on changing providers and lose sight of the role their organizations play in the engagement. They “spend too much time trying to switch providers and not addressing the core issues,” says Wiele of KPMG, “which are going to be a problem with any provider.” IT service buyers should take the time to fully understand their role in a successful sourcing relationship rather than reflexively blaming the service provider

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