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LATEST THINKING


Is outsourcing talent suffering from benign neglect?

Outsourcing clients want noiseless delivery. But if “silent running” becomes an end in itself, it may mask deeper problems in an outsourcing engagement.

Overview

Among enterprise outsourcing managers, less than half are satisfied with their career prospects. Under a third believe they’re getting the industry knowledge and skills required to produce desired results.

Those are among at least a few sobering findings in a 2014 HfS report, “Is Good Enough Really Good Enough? The Great Talent Paradox in Outsourcing.” HfS is a leading authority on global business and information technology services.

HfS offers a look at outsourcing buyers’ top priorities, as well as their opinions on talent available from their service providers and the quality of outsourcing management in their own organizations.

According to HfS, barely a third of buyers believe their governance talent “can drive innovation, define business outcomes or… have even above-average analytical skill.”

Fully two-thirds of enterprise outsourcing buyers are struggling to achieve any genuine business value beyond mere cost reduction and efficiency. 
HfS Research

Recommendations

You can learn valuable lessons from the successful “Strategic Outsourcing” group on how to maximize the value of outsourcing engagements by taking a few, critical steps.

Before selecting a service provider:

  1. Assess the availability of strategic talent.

  2. Focus talent investments on enhancing core business skills.

  3. Revamp skills expectations for the retained team.

After selecting a service provider:

  1. Manage governance organizations like business functions, rather than like cost centers.

  2. Establish shared “stretch” goals that encourage the deployment of skills on a regularly-reviewed basis.

  3. Manage the service provider’s talent as an extension of your enterprise.

Always consider the service provider as a partner, and be prepared to leverage the provider’s capabilities to create business value.

Keep in mind you must also consider how best to manage and develop your own talent in an ongoing and continually evolving relationship.