Ask the Coach
Q: What trends do you see in the industry for training managers and leaders to manage well in the onshore/offshore environment?
A: Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available for those who want to teach their organizations how to manage outsourcing effectively. A good place to start is the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals, a consortium established - in its own words - to design, implement and manage the global corporate ecosystem. While organizations are becoming increasingly savvy in managing these extended sourcing relationships, they are not placing enough emphasis on reskilling the current IT workforce to assume the innovation role. As part of playing offence on outsourcing, IT leaders need to define the role for the future internal workforce and incorporate necessary developmental programs in the overall approach and work plan.
Q: We are lucky enough to have an organization that doesn't believe in outsourcing - although we do use quite a few consultants in support of projects. As a direct report to the CIO, however, I believe our organization could benefit from outsourcing in providing service to geographically remote business partners. How can I sell the program without selling out?
A: You may not have to sell outsourcing at all. Instead, simply apply the use of consultants or contractors to the service improvement opportunities you describe. The difference between the occasional use of consultants and contractors and outsourcing depends on the level of control and assumption of risk. Outsourcing entails a project- or services-based contract where the desired outcomes and pricing are negotiated and the outsourcer assumes accountability for managing the details and delivering the results. Try defining a program that mirrors the look and feel of the existing consultant relationships and it's doubtful you will be viewed as a sell-out.
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