Use of Information Technology for competitive edge was a trend among Fortune 500 companies, whereas it is a ‘must’ today for them. And the same trend is now catching up among smaller companies. Gartner forecasts that the future of IT software development will be driven by small and medium size enterprises.
As organizations implement IT systems to support various business functions, the IT team requires more resources in order to support current implementation and future developments. IT heads will often echo that their biggest challenge is bridging the skill gap such that the business doesn’t get affected. This is especially true for organisations with varied functions or multiple locations or complex processes.
But does the CIO’s office get a heads-up every time? Well not always, business goals are moving targets! So the question then is how does one remain quick-footed? At IT Exchange we have been recommending “Strategic Sourcing Partnerships” to some of our prospective clients that face similar dilemma. In taking this approach the IT team takes a more pro-active role in the business. It doesn’t respond to the business requirements after a need arises, instead it is ready when a business need arises. Thus, responding much faster to the business.
For such an approach to work, the IT team creates a company-wide road map of IT requirements, centralizes all sourcing requirements and then brings together those ‘Strategic Sourcing Partners’ who can serve these needs. Once the road-map is laid out, the CIO’s office starts playing a more strategic role for the business.
So who or what is a ‘Strategic Sourcing Partner’? The sourcing partner can be an on-site or off-site Service Provider who has been selected keeping in mind both the current and future needs of the organization. There are several papers and presentations on the benefits of engaging a Strategic Sourcing Partner, here is our summation of some of the benefits.
- The sourcing partner becomes an extended arm of the organization by understanding the overarching business goals
– Can scale up or scale down the support team based on the business needs
– The skills-gap in the team can be filled in by the partner, quickly and on demand
– The response time to the business is improved
– A strategic partner eliminates the time and effort required to get a new sourcing partner on-board for each new project