Multi-Sourcing (using multiple, skilled vendors to handle various elements of IT for a single company) has gained traction as businesses attempt to cut down on cost and handle the changing climate of IT. But it isn't just as simple as finding someone who knows a thing or two about application support and hiring them on – even “best of breed” providers (as explained in this article by Allan Watton) need to be handled and communicated to effectively. And that's where the 7 steps included in this article come in to play:
- Ensure effective Relationship Management
- Ensure effective Contract Management
- Keep your vendors in check
- Promote positive dialogue
- Enforce long term involvement
- Avoid “Man Marketing”
Each of these tips point to communication, expectations, and continued involvement. But, as the summary of the article goes on to say, sometimes multi-sourcing isn't the answer: In a climate where outsourcing contracts are characterised by the need to both reduce costs and improve service delivery, multi-sourcing represents a very promising environment in which such business outcomes can be met. If you feel that multi-sourcing is a step too far in terms of complexity than you might consider engaging the services of an organisation experienced in multi-sourcing who can undertake much of the management and governance role on the client’s behalf. So consider it as an option but not a fool-proof solution (as any organsation should do with any potential solution). Intelligent decision making and objective understanding is the first step to deciding on how to use (or not use) multi-sourcing within your company.