Stephanie Overby

Contributing writer

Stephanie Overby is a regular contributor to CIO.com.

Articles by Stephanie Overby

Feature

Company Saves Millions By Ending IT Outsourcing Deal

Kellwood's multi-million dollar IT outsourcing deal with EDS served it well for many years. But after significant organizational changes and intense investigation of the 13-year deal, it became clear that insourcing was the best way for the apparel maker to save money moving forward. Here's an inside look at Kellwood's decision-making--and dramatic cost savings.
February 18, 2010
Feature

IT Outsourcing: Why It Pays to Appraise Your Contract

Most IT outsourcing contracts contain post-execution provisions that, if not reviewed annually, can drive up costs or drive down performance. We've got an 18-point checklist to keep your outsourcing costs and service under control this year.
February 3, 2010
Feature

Outsourcing Problems? Your Middle Management May Be to Blame

Researchers at the London School of Economics' Outsourcing Unit say middle managers are critical to outsourcing success, but many--particularly offshore--lack the necessary skills to keep outsourcing engagements on track.
January 28, 2010
Feature

6 Offshore Outsourcing Hot Spots for 2010

The headlines in offshore outsourcing in 2010 may focus less on the quantity of work organizations are sending overseas and more on where they're sending it.
December 22, 2009
Feature

10 Outsourcing Trends to Watch in 2010

CIO.com's outsourcing guru talks to the experts, dives into the research and offers up 10 key outsourcing trends that you need to know about.
December 17, 2009
Feature

DIY Outsourcing Saves Money, Adds Control

Pricey consultants can be time savers but there are benefits—beyond penny pinching—to crafting your own outsourcing deal.
December 16, 2009
Feature

7 Ways an Outsourcing Advisor Can Save You Money

From ensuring you don't get snookered on prices to helping you transition your IT services to your new vendor, outsourcing advisors can save customers' money on the front- and back-ends of outsourcing deals.
November 24, 2009
Feature

Globalization: New Management Challenges Facing IT leaders

As the globalization wave reaches emerging markets, IT leaders face new mangement challenges. Here's advice on how to balance the competing—and often conflicting—needs of established and developing business locations.
November 12, 2009
Feature

Are You Qualified to Be a Global CIO?

Globalization demands CIOs who can manage IT in rapidly developing markets. Rigid thinkers need not apply.
November 12, 2009
Feature

What Matters Most in Outsourcing: Outcomes vs. Tasks

No one who outsources IT really cares about servers or switches or man-hours. They want business results. Outcome-based outsourcing promises to deliver those results, but moving from input-based pricing to outcome-based contracts is easier said than done.
November 11, 2009
Feature

IT Outsourcing: Think Twice Before You Issue a Single RFP

Sure, the big outsourcing providers can offer application development and infrastructure services. But just because they do doesn't mean you should send them a single RFP if you need to provision both. Pace Harmon's Steve Martin explains the circumstances in which it makes sense to issue separate RFPs.
November 4, 2009
Feature

You Can Outsource City Hall, but Not Offshore–Yet

Faced with declining revenue and increased demand for IT services, state and local governments are looking to third-party IT providers for help, even amid some high profile public sector outsourcing disasters. And while offshoring remains off the table for the public sector for now, the recession could force state and local governments to reconsider offshore sourcing options.
October 29, 2009
Feature

Outsourcing Industry Mergers Spell Bad News for IT

The forecast calls for more mergers in the IT outsourcing industry and that means more headaches for IT groups. Brace yourself for decreased competition, increased service disruption, and other woes, analysts say.
October 21, 2009
Feature

IT Outsourcing: Many Mergers Ahead

Xerox's bid for IT and business process service provider Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) comes on the heels of Dell's announcement that it will purchase Perot Systems. Outsourcing industry analysts predict even more consolidation in the IT services market as other tech equipment makers and telecom network providers eye IT outsourcing vendors' recurring revenue streams.
September 29, 2009
News

Dell-Perot Deal Spells Trouble for Tier-Two Outsourcers

By combining Dell's global hardware manufacturing and sales business with Perot Systems' IT services offerings, the Dell-Perot deal puts the two companies in a better position to compete with IBM and HP and to leap ahead of tier-two outsourcing providers. It also demonstrates the importance of integrating hardware sales and services delivery for outsourcing vendors and their customers.
September 22, 2009
Feature

Offshore Outsourcing: Introducing a New, Hybrid Pricing Model

Offshore outsourcing providers are coming up with new pricing models in response to more demanding customers. Mid-tier provider MindTree is publicizing its hybrid pricing model, which it says combines the best of both time-and-materials and fixed-price models. Is this IT service pricing innovation or slick marketing?
September 15, 2009
Feature

Goal Setting: How CIOs Can Avoid Pitfalls

Ambitious goal setting may be popular but it has its perils. Dr. Maurice E. Schweitzer, associate professor of operations and information management at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Management research outlines how to get goal setting right.
September 9, 2009
Feature

The Best Time to Negotiate an Outsourcing Contract

The last days of an outsourcing contract are the perfect time for customers to bargain with their IT service providers for better service and prices. Yet few customers take advantage of that end-of-life leverage, and those who do often wield the power as a cudgel and do more harm than good. Here are six best practices for making the most of the last days of any outsourcing deal.
September 8, 2009
Feature

As Prices for Outsourced Desktop Support Drop, Some IT Shops Get Shafted

Some cash-strapped IT departments are inking deals with vendors for desktop support services at rock-bottom prices. But they may be signing up for all-time low levels of service that may defeat the purpose of outsourcing in the first place and cost them more money in the long run.
August 31, 2009
Feature

H-1B Reform Bill Could Complicate Offshore Outsourcing

A provision of the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2009, intended to prevent companies from replacing American workers with H-1B visa holders, will make it more difficult for outsourcing vendors to place H-1B professionals at customer sites if the legislation is passed.
August 26, 2009
Feature

The Truth About the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2009

Will the proposed legislation address the problems some American IT workers have with the H-1B visa program? Will it damage business relations between the U.S. and India? What are the odds of the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2009 passing? CIO.com has the answers.
August 18, 2009
Feature

H-1B Visa Sponsors: Surprise! You’re Being Audited

U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), which administers the H-1B and L-1 visa programs, has beefed up its anti-fraud auditing efforts this year with surprise site visits to companies that employ temporary non-immigrant visa holders. H-1B critics say the impromptu inspections are a step in the right direction--even though compliance with the investigations is voluntary. Corporate attorneys weigh in with tips on how to prepare for an H-1B visa audit.
August 12, 2009
Feature

Outsourcing: Benchmark Your Provider Without the Hassle

Benchmarking is a useful way for outsourcing customers to ensure that their service providers are offering competitive prices. But the process can be costly, contentious and time consuming for outsourcers and their customers. One alternative--the proxy bid--has its pros and cons.
August 4, 2009
Feature

Outsourcing: Telecom Providers Give Their Networks the Boot

Plans from Sprint, BT, China Mobile and others to farm out network management may seem counterintuitive. If the network isn't a core competency for a telecom provider, what is? But market forces are moving many providers in Asia, Europe--and now the U.S.--to relinquish control of their networks, and that could affect customers for better and for worse. Here's what it means for you.
July 27, 2009
Feature

How CIOs Can Foster Innovation in IT

CIO 100 Award-Winning CIOs share their advice for inspiring the development of new technologies and innovative thinking within your IT departmentn
July 27, 2009
Feature

Outsourcing: How to Create a Transformation Roadmap

If you don't know where you want to go, as the Cheshire cat once advised Alice in Wonderland, any road will take you there. But if you have specific and significant goals for your outsourcing engagement, you need a map to make sure you arrive at the intended destination.
July 23, 2009
Feature

IT Outsourcing: Why You Need to Reengineer Your SLAs

Chances are, a majority of the service level agreements in your IT outsourcing contracts are, at best, outdated, and at worst, utterly worthless. Here are eight tips for creating more modern and meaningful SLAs.
July 15, 2009
Feature

Offshore Outsourcing: Pay Attention to Foreign Exchange Rates or Pay the Price

American companies may leave millions of dollars on the table by ignoring the impact of currency fluctuations on their offshore outsourcing deals. Here are five strategies for ensuring that you save even more money when the value of your offshore provider's currency drops.
July 9, 2009
Feature

Outsourcing: The Demise of the Offshore Captive Center

Citi, AXA, AOL and others have shed their wholly-owned Indian IT services subsidiaries. Analysts say sales of offshore captive centers may be more than just a sign of the recessionary times: The concept of owning an offshore services unit may have outlived its value for most companies.
June 30, 2009
Feature

Vendor Management: Recession Strains Outsourcing Partnerships

Recessions take their toll on even the best outsourcing relationships. Here are ten signs that indicate your deal may be in danger and eight remedies for repairing the rifts in your IT services union.
June 24, 2009
Feature

9 Ways to Save Money on Your Next Outsourcing Contract

By spec-ing out the scope of your outsourcing agreement, streamlining SLAs, and employing new delivery methods such as cloud computing and infrastructure-on-demand, you can cut the cost of your next outsourcing deal without sacrificing service.
June 17, 2009
Feature

Outsourcing Prices: Why the Recession Isn’t Really Driving Them Down

The common perception is that IT outsourcing prices are heading south this year, to the benefit of customers everywhere who are clamoring to cut costs in this economic environment. But hold off on the Hallelujah chorus. Here's why you may actually pay more to--and get lower quality from--IT services providers today.
June 2, 2009
Feature

Negotiating Outsourcing Contracts: Beware of Minimum Commitments

Customers are pushing back on once de rigueur minimum revenue and volume commitments in outsourcing contracts--and for good reason. Here are five tips for avoiding these customer unfriendly clauses and a list of eight terms to look out for if you do agree to them.
May 26, 2009
Feature

Speed Sourcing: The New Outsourcing Trend

Outsourcing consultancies are offering new ways to accelerate the outsourcing selection process--no exhaustive vendor search, no RFP, and a signed contract in record time. The concept is called speed sourcing, but it isn't right for everyone. Here's why.
May 18, 2009
Feature

The Truth About Obama’s “Tax on Outsourcing”

Misconceptions about President Barack Obama's plan to close overseas business tax loopholes abound. CIO.com sets the record straight about the five most common misperceptions.
May 12, 2009
Feature

Applied Materials: Looking to Flexible Offshoring Deals to Survive

The Applied Materials IT department had cut costs by 35 percent before the company was hit with the semiconductor slump and worldwide recession. So CIO Ron Kifer had to get creative, renegotiating with offshore providers and easing up on service levels.
May 7, 2009
Feature

Growing Gen-Y Leaders

Why you need to give your millennials real leadership responsibilities.
May 3, 2009
Feature

Offshore Outsourcing: Will Recession Cause a Bangalore Backlash?

Some high profile offshore outsourcing customers say they're bringing call center and information technology services back onshore. But experts are divided on the significance of individual "backshoring" announcements from Delta Air Lines, Sallie Mae, AT&T and others.
April 29, 2009