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Updated by Charles Bystock on 07/25/2013

sourcing advisory soup to nutsA top-notch sourcing advisory can offer your enterprise everything from soup to nuts. From an IT perspective, of course. They can guide and augment your thinking, whether you’re already outsourcing IT functions or you’re taking the first steps to investigate the possibilities. These services can be especially beneficial for both private and public enterprises that manage large, complex global infrastructure operations.

The opportunity is greater than you may think. A sourcing advisory can provide a single-subject consult – say, if you’re looking to change locations or service providers. Or they’re available to assist with your entire progression of outsourcing decision-making and implementation.

The earlier you link up with a sourcing advisory, the more you can exploit their special expertise. You can reach your target state sooner, more efficiently, with less risk and disruption that could cause frustrating delays or even damage customer relationships. You can start realizing the benefits as soon as possible.

Advice and insight.

Advisory services are based on trust and accountability. You get a team of experts that are up-to-date on all the latest industry trends and best practices. One that has extensive personal experience in both business management and IT operations, so they can readily comprehend what your enterprise is all about. They’ll know which alternatives will produce the results you need, and which ones aren’t viable for you.

They can help you examine and improve:

  • IBM Mainframe solutions.
  • Midrange server colocation and managed services.
  • Enterprise application hosting.
  • Cloud computing services.
  • Disaster recovery.
  • Network services.
  • Retained in-house IT functions or services.
  • Governance and other executive management processes.
  • Labor deployment and priorities for internal IT staff.


Every good plan needs a good start. A sourcing advisory can help you assemble “just the facts.” More importantly, they’ll ensure you have all the facts you need to benchmark IT costs and establish a baseline. You’ll be able to:

  • Understand the actual cost-effectiveness of your current IT infrastructure.
  • Systematically and efficiently evaluate alternatives, comparing apples to apples without having to make dangerous assumptions or base your thinking on skewed data.
  • Continue to monitor progress and to drive continuous service improvements.

Specific sourcing assistance.

Just as the name implies, your advisory team can help you choose the right services, from wholesale transformation to toe-in-the-water trial. Then they’ll help you identify the right vendor, equally critical for outsourcing success. Because personalities and style matter, they’ll help you pick the vendor that can provide the right people as well as the right services and pricing.

Contract negotiation.

There’s more to an effective contract that a list of SLAs, and a sourcing advisory can negotiate all the elements on your behalf. They’re unbiased yet personally familiarity with potential providers, putting them in the best position to hone contract terms for you. They can advise about appropriate pricing and payment options, too, arriving at an arrangement even your CFO will appreciate.

Transition planning and implementation.

A sourcing advisory can help you achieve a transition that’s silky smooth and as fast as possible. You can avoid disruption, mass confusion or annoying glitches, instead motivating even reluctant employees to appreciate the “new way.”

Partnering with a sourcing advisory isn’t a total hand-off. It’s a collaborative effort, targeted directly toward your company’s goals. You can transform your organization with a focus on the future, actually doing more with less. But those results aren’t automatic. Achieving them requires the right strategy, the right solutions, the right providers and the right implementation plan.

A sourcing advisory can help you find the right mix, to minimize TCO and maximize ROI, sooner than you might expect.

Sourcing advisory services aren’t free, of course. So look for a firm that bases their fees on results, not how much time they spend on your project. They’ll have not only the knowledge and insight to help you devise the best solutions, they’ll have the strongest motivation, too. 

Photo credit:  steffenz and  Feast via Flickr