Outsourcing

As noted by Wikipedia, a consistent definition for outsourcing  is not necessarily agreed , but it is seen as accepting that any task, operation, job or process that could be performed internally within an organisation, is instead contracted out to a third party for a significant period of time.  This can apply to most products and/or services ranging from payroll, through IT to fleet management of vehicles.

Regardless of the actual definition, outsourcing should not be considered just as a quick fix, but as an integrated element of a long-term strategy. From an ICT perspective, organisations typically analyse their core competencies and consider outsourcing from a range of reasons:

  • the required ICT talent is difficult to obtain and outsourcing may be the only way to ensure the talented, limited resources are available to an organisation.
  • customer expectations and requirements are greater than the ICT function’s  ability to meet and exceed those requirements.
  • an organisation wants to minimize risk while still achieving its growth goals.

Flavour Solutions has assisted a number of customers, with a range of services related to outsourcing.

A critical task before outsourcing is to determine the total cost of the services as they are currently being delivered. Flavour Solutions have worked with clients to determine the actual range and cost of the current services delivered, as well as developed the relevant service level agreements for these services to be provided to the external service provider.

The Request for Proposal (or Tender) is a key function used to:

  • describe the services required and obtain the best value for money for the outsourced services
  • evaluate each vendors' response to meet the best interests of the organisation
  • meet the interests of all stakeholders within the organisation
  • set the selection rules up front and ensure the organisation is in control of the entire vendor selection process
  • develop a  partnership between the organisation and the vendor
  • negotiate the best deal, by leveraging the competitive nature of the vendor selection process.

Flavour Solutions have provided a range of services to clients in this area, ranging from the preparation of RFPs/RFTs, through the review of RFPs/RFTs to the project management of the execution of and evaluation of an RFP/RFT seeking outsourced services.

We are currently providing project management services for the Implementation of a “Cloud Based” ERP Solution from NetSuite to a SME in Canberra, as well as providing services that have been negotiated with an offshore development provider to another SME client in Canberra developing and implementing an online application solution.

A key influence in the outsourcing arena in the Government Sector of recent times has been the Gershon Review. The report identified several key areas with the corresponding primary recommendations in the following areas:

  • Governance
  • Capability
  • ICT Spend
  • Skills
  • Data Centres
  • Sustainable ICT.

Having reviewed the report, Flavour Solutions is also geared up to support a number of theses areas and has provided support to clients in the areas of Governance (development of a governance structure to an Enterprise Solutions area within the IT Group od a Government Agency), capability (assistance with the development of a work take on methodology to ensure an improved investment process in ICT0 and skills (development of a business analysis centre of excellence).