Too many companies embark on the journey to acquire bought-in or outsourced services from a provider with no clear procurement strategy, or target outcome. So the process rolls on and the plan evolves, driven largely by supplier responses and agenda. And the result? The companies don’t get the outcomes they want, or need, they get what suits the suppliers.
Over that past year we have advised many clients on outsourced services and found that many service providers appear to be charging a fairly substantial hidden overhead for a Service Delivery Manager’s time. They claim this person is there to look after the interests of your business.
Are they really looking after your interests? Or are they protecting their own?
“Are you maximising your use of IT to grow your business? Or is it a costly distraction?
Is it a IT solution that you really need – or do you need to go back to basics first?
After all, in the words of Albert Einstein: “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.”
We are often asked to advise start-up companies looking to break into the public sector by bidding for tenders - and we have to give them bad news: unless you are prepared for the long haul and investment, don’t go there.
Why? After all, the sector represents well over half of the country’s business-to-business trade, it pays reliably and once you are established, you have a good chance of continued business.
So why is it so difficult to break into? It comes down to four key reasons:
Cloud based computing promises great benefits – no more equipment to buy, less work for your IT team, automatic upgrades, improved data storage security...
Too good to be true? Maybe.
Does change management theory help when a project isn’t going well? No? Then what does?
It’s relatively easy to identify why a project is failing to deliver the desired benefits - much harder to put it right. And despite the many change management books and self-appointed change management ‘experts’ out there, it’s usually not the principles of managing change, but how you implement it - the detailed, hands-on practice - that makes a difference. And it’s our experience at eXceeding is that the devil is always in the detail.
Most companies are outsourcing some or all of their IT software, systems, infrastructure and the services that sit on them, or at least looking at the perceived cost advantages of doing so. Moving over to a lower costing Cloud-based service is very tempting. But trying to compare the offerings from different service providers is like comparing apples and oranges.
For a start there are three different types of Cloud-based services:
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).
Do you need to find an alternative supplier?
We learned last week that the systems integrator 2e2 group has gone into administration, leaving many UK organizations without a secure future outsourcing partner.
If you are affected by this development, we’d like to help.
As the IT outsourcing market slumps to 10-year low, with contract values down 34% on the same period last year, we read with interest that 96% of Heads of IT are unhappy with the outsourced IT contracts they had negotiated and plan to retender or renegotiate at least one of their IT outsourcing deals. (‘IT Outsourcing Relationships in Need of an Upgrade?’ 22/4/13).
Most organisations now face a major crossroads when their infrastructure platform needs upgrading or reaches the end of its life - at least in the manufacturer’s eyes (yes, we know that's in their interest). In years gone by, the decision was to buy an updated version of the current manufacturer’s platform, or switch vendors. Nowadays, however, you have another option: instead of installing new servers and internal networks on your premises, you can opt for Cloud hosting.