For years, multi-sourcing has been a run of the mill business reality for IT departments. What’s constantly evolving, though, is the intricacy of these multi-sourcing landscapes.
As digital transformation reinforces itself as a fundamental aspect of business success, IT departments are increasingly outsourcing to specialist suppliers. Your business has likely felt the need for automation, Machine Learning, CI/CD with DevOps... if you’ve not yet, you will soon.
Faced with this reality, outsourcing makes perfect sense. You can bring in the relevant expertise, accelerate business development and likely cut costs compared to a purely in-house approach. But research from Gartner has found that more than 60% of outsourced services fail to bring about the business outcomes for which they’re contracted.
So where are all the missing links? The reality is, a lack of organisation means the potential benefits of multi-sourcing are slipping through the cracks.
Upping your organisational game is vital for multi-sourcing success. Here, we’ll cover key areas to help you assess how well your multi-sourcing landscape is organised.
Is multi-sourcing disorganisation costing you dearly?
Consider your multi-sourcing setup for a moment: how many of the suppliers that you work with collaborate and coordinate across their working processes?
It’s all too likely that the answer’s hovering near zero. With suppliers sticking to their own ways of working, you’re looking at different digital tools, operating models, control checks and delivery processes across each and every one of them. The costs of dealing with all this disparity quickly mount up. What’s more, that’s before you factor in managing data from myriad sources, in far too many formats to count.
Organising your multi-sourcing is vital to shedding this burden. By implementing standardised platforms, processes and working methodologies across your suppliers, you can streamline your multi-sourcing into a high-performance hive, rather than a tangled web.
Do your suppliers communicate effectively?
An ‘everyone for themselves’ mentality often rears its head in multi-sourcing, with each supplier solely focussed on achieving the minimum required to meet their objectives. With each party firmly set in their silo, there’s no hope of effective communication or mutually beneficial collaboration across your multi-sourcing landscape.
Here, improving organisation can have a radical effect. In a well organised multi-sourcing landscape, the sum is truly greater than the parts.
With effective coordination and accountability practices in place, suppliers will know that they’re expected to venture out of their silos, taking up their role in your well-oiled, cooperative machine. More than that, there’ll be an inherent understanding that this proactivity is vital to ensuring their continued presence within your landscape.
Alongside organising communication among your suppliers, it’s also vital they know what to expect from you. Ensuring you schedule in periodic performance reviews for each of your suppliers is vital to keeping your multi-sourcing organised. These reviews allow you to maintain alignment across what’s needed, what’s agreed upon and what’s actually delivered.
At a minimum, these periodic performance reviews should be contractually obliged, regular and completed on schedule, rather than being pushed down the to-do list for the sake of keeping the show on the road. Ideally, organisations should aim higher: a mature multi-sourcing setup fosters a culture where performance reviews simply take place as required, with no need for constant reminders.
Are you delivering on quality and innovation?
Without clear and consistent standardised processes in place to make the basics happen, ramping up innovation is a tall order. Near impossible, even.
Fundamentally, disorganised multi-sourcing means fighting fires. With little streamlining and automation across your supplier processes, the potential for human error, crossed wires and information gaps increases. With fire-fighting front of mind, it’s highly unlikely that anyone in your suppliers’ teams has the headspace to focus on meaningful innovation.
Funnily enough, outsourcing to innovation experts isn’t a nifty quick fix. There’s a cold, hard truth here: all the bright ideas in the world won’t make a tangible difference if your basic multi-sourcing setup isn’t effectively organised. New, innovative software just won’t fix underlying issues of lacking communication, immature processes and incoherent governance.
Do your customers feel the benefit?
In IT service provision, customer and end-user perception of the service delivered isn’t often the first thing that businesses managing a multi-sourcing landscape look to improve. Instead, they’re bogged down in the technicalities of monitoring each supplier’s daily doings.
Ultimately, though, it's the customer that counts. Whether that’s business clients or the end users themselves, improving your multi-sourcing setup can significantly enhance their service delivery experience.
Multi-sourcing: know where you stand
Fundamentally, effectively organising your multi-sourcing landscape requires mature processes, brought in with pragmatic, agile and value-driven thinking. Fortunately, there’s a solution for that: Service Integration and Management (SIAM).
SIAM implements standardised governance, management, integration, assurance and coordination across your multi-sourcing landscape, optimising it from the ground up.
By maturing organisation levels across your supplier network, you’ll increase efficiency, reliability, accountability and, ultimately, the quality of the product your business is able to offer to both IT customers and end users.
At Fruition Partners, we take a hands-on approach to implementing SIAM within your organisation. Rather than just consulting from the sidelines, we deploy analysts (the brains) and an operational taskforce (the brawn) to pragmatically revolutionise your multi-sourcing scenario.
As every business faces unique organisational pain points, the first step on the journey is assessing your ‘as-is’ multi-sourcing reality. For invaluable insight into how well your multi-sourcing is organised right now, take our SIAM Quickscan today.