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5 Services An IT Sourcing Advisory Provides

May 14, 2013 6:00:00 AM

by Charles Bystock

IT Sourcing AdvisoryConsulting with an IT sourcing advisory team can vastly improve your results if you’re contemplating a move to outsourcing or some type of major IT change. The right consultants will work with you hand-in-hand to ensure your investigative efforts are comprehensive and well-targeted.

The IT sourcing advisory process can do many things for you, and that’s a good thing. You don’t want to leave any opportunity uncovered in your quest for greater efficiencies, better outcomes and lower costs.

Here are five important services a well-qualified IT sourcing advisory team can provide:

1. Benchmarking.

Your advisors should insist you start at the beginning. You want to clearly identify your internal infrastructure operations costs, both direct and indirect, as well as service and performance output, so you can appropriately compare your performance to best-in-class data centers and service provider operations.

Good decisions depend on your ability to understand true total cost of ownership. So your IT sourcing advisory team will use metrics and easy-to-understand dashboards to help develop a baseline, so you can analyze various alternative solutions in terms of both functionality and costs. Benchmarking protects against misdiagnosing needs or misinterpreting current or potential TCO.  

2. IT service assessment.

Your IT sourcing advisory team can explain different strategies to reduce expenses throughout your IT operations. At the very least, you need to maintain your current service levels, but solutions that will help you improve are even better.

Your advisors should assist with finding ways to boost your purchasing power and improve productivity of both staff and technology as well as source specific commodity services that may be available in the marketplace.

You could focus on outsourcing, or choose to develop a plan to improve internal processes, or move an infrastructure service to the cloud. Many companies combine strategies based on their unique needs and circumstances. Your service assessment will enable you to develop a well-targeted business case and accompanying  plan of action to drive decision-making.

3. Workforce.

The right people are as important as the right tools. An IT sourcing advisory process can evaluate how you’re using your IT staff -- what’s being done now as well as what isn’t getting sufficient attention. You can create an “IT services map” that categorize activities by operations, service requests and projects. For each category, you can examine process maturity, repeatability, value and the level of effort required.

And you’ll want to outline your priorities for the future. From there, you can create a new staffing model that zeroes in on your unique enterprise needs while considering your ITIL framework and other industry best practices. Your IT sourcing advisory team can offer experienced recommendations regarding activities you could eliminate or ways to make better use of automation.

4. Governance and control.

The IT management landscape is changing along with technology. You’re focused on continuous improvement as well as curbing costs. The right management processes and controls assure you’re always working toward further price and performance improvements. IT sourcing advisors can help you develop a new working model aimed at transforming how you manage IT services delivery and assuring your ability to sustain service levels as you implement change.

5. Matchmaking.

If you choose some type of outsourcing, the ultimate goal of an IT sourcing advisory process is to link you with right providers and help you negotiate the strongest, most cost-effective contracts with those new partners. That includes sourcing opportunities that can lower labor costs while maintaining top performance.

If you’re reach for change, an IT sourcing advisory can give you a kick-start in the right direction.

Photo credit: Dell's Official Flickr Page via Flickr

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