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Private sector looks to use multiple outsourcing suppliers

Most private sector organisations are looking for outsourcing partnerships with multiple suppliers, according to a study of 100 CIOs.

Of the IT leaders surveyed, 65% said they preferred "multi-sourcing" in IT partnering agreements, rather than relying on a single partner. In contrast, 45% of public sector bodies said they prefer multi-sourcing, and 44% said they would rather work with a single supplier, the study from PMP Research, commissioned by IT services supplier Computacenter, revealed.

Ben Booth, chief information officer at market research firm Mori and chairman of the BCS Elite IT directors group, said the trend was to look for best-of-breed IT partners, rather than a single outsourcing supplier. Core IT strategy and relationship management skills should be retained in-house, he added.

Simon Walsh, managing director of service at Computacenter, said his business was seeing more demand for flexible partnerships "Big contracts are coming down and there is more of a drive towards flexibility and commercial transparency."

Booth said a core in-house team should negotiate a contract, manage it and not be able to transfer it to the supplier. These skills in effective relationship management were vital for the IT professional wanting to progress to CIO level, Booth said.

Of those questioned, 74% of CIOs said managing relationships with the supplier was the major problem in outsourcing IT or business processes.

Computacenter often saw in-house teams change completely from the negotiation team within a year of the contract being signed, Walsh said.

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