The compulsive, ad hoc and fundamentally tactical approach to outsourcing practiced by most companies will be unsustainable by 2010, Cohen said, in part because companies will be doing more outsourcing with more suppliers. Organizations tend to outsource to solve a short-term problem, Cohen said. Unless organizations practice what Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner calls a “disciplined multisourcing” strategy, their ability to grow and their profitability will erode.
“Most of you know you’re stuck in good, old-fashioned outsourcing, and you know you need to kick it up a notch,” Cohen told a packed room.
The first step to reform is asking the right questions in the right order, Cohen said. Most companies begin the decision to outsource by asking who is out there, when the question that needs to be addressed head-on is why the organization is contemplating changing the way it delivers IT. That query should be followed by asking what, who, how and finally where, she said.