Article 1 of 3
The recently published study “Ardour Sourcing Pulse Check” (http://www.ardour.de/), by Ardour Consulting Group shows some interesting results on the German market of IT services which are in line with the pliXos experiences. These results and the corresponding recommendations to act from our perspective will be subject to a series of three articles, this being the first one.
Through the survey, in which many different Organisations have participated, Ardour found out that the interest in near- and offshoring will continue to increase. Especially the increasing professionalization of the services providers as well as the still far lower labour costs are favouring sourcing of IT-activities from Eastern or Southern Europe as well as from India. It is well understood that the management and the governance of the remote service providers is challenging and often subject to project failures. It is not surprising that the two most frequently mentioned problems in an outsourcing relationship concentrate on the effective project control or proper governance and as well on the customer not having sufficient internal capacities for this.
In addition to the already mentioned management challenges most organizations are interested into the pricing model “Time-and-Material”. It represents the most commonly used model today. It is the best pricing model if the customer is able to ensure proper governance and that the service provider is working at highest efficiency and transparency at all times. In case of application development an automatic collection of fitting key performance indicators (KPIs) accompanied by a fitting approach such as agile according SCRUM is best of breed. For further details on this kindly refer to the white paper “Governance of agile SW projects - Flying high above the turbulence of typical software development projects” which was written by pliXos in cooperation with the experienced customer Loyalty Partner Solutions).
Specifically when ensuring a tight management and governance in a globally distributed set up (offshore, nearshore), cultural diversities, language barriers and the distance etc. impose further obstacles. In order to support customers successfully managing those challenges for the case of application development and maintenance (ADM) pliXos developed the online tool “Outsourcing Director” which is offered as Software as a Service (SaaS).
The tool connects clients with their dedicated vendors and enables a significantly improved handling of the services provided. Because of the fast and easy implementation through SaaS as well as because of standardisation and automation of the processes, the Outsourcing Director will lead you to cost savings up to 20% and to decreasing project durations. The functions of the system include distinctive collaboration tools, source code management, quality analysis and many other helpful methods. In particular the automated KPI cockpit is of help, allowing the management of the customer as well as of the provider to obtain insights into the project in real time and on a neutral basis. The ideal base for the project manager to act.
Due to the increasingly used multisourcing or multi vendor strategy and the differences in processes used (e.g. agile vs classical methods in software development), pliXos actively works on the next step of further optimisation. A few months ago pliXos introduced therefore a cooperation (sponsoring of a dissertation) together with the Otto-Friedrich University of Bamberg, where the topic “Outsourcing Relationship Tracker” is analysed. Previous results already show positive impact on methods of management and monitoring.
After this articles concentrated on management and monitoring issues, article two focuses on the contract duration as well as on identified success factors of IT outsourcing. In contrast to this, article number three concentrates on findings in the area of client satisfaction and the related outsourcing aims.
pliXos sees itself as a specialist in IT Outsourcing, especially for outsourced software development (offshore/nearshore). We are not only offering services as a classical service provider does or expected from a pure consulting company, but instead further enrich these offerings with innovative online products throughout the project life cycle of an outsourcing project to be most effective. Our offers include "tool-assisted" evaluation and analysis of global sourcing projects, the optimized control of such projects as well as consulting and the assumption of overall responsibility for individual projects. pliXos is supported by private investors as well as the “High-Tech Gruenderfonds” (www.htgf.de) and “Bayern Kapital” (www.bayernkapital.de).
PS: pliXos is on twitter – follow us: www.twitter.com/pliXos_com