Resolution #3: I will say what I mean. This suggestion rings as true for outsourcing suppliers as it did for outsourcing customers. There's nothing more powerful than exactitude and candor in establishing a new relationship or fixing a troubled one. "Get off the PowerPoint and corporate B.S., and start talking in direct, understandable language with [your] clients," says Phil Fersht, CEO of outsourcing analyst firm HfS Research. Try being forthright, whether you're talking about cloud computing, offshoring, or layoffs.
Resolution #4: I will be honest about my shortcomings. Time erodes the value proposition of any outsourcing deal. "Sometimes it is just a small service, sometimes it is a whole service area," Strichman says. "Vendors know best where these areas are and are often loathe to admit it." You have no contractual requirement to tell a client that they're now paying millions over the market rate for storage or desktop support, but open conversations about where you're continuing to add value and where you are not will strengthen the relationship and likely increase your business with that customer.
"I would recommend providers adopt a Costco-like model where managers are penalized for going above or below a defined margin," Ruckman says. "This will help enable providers refocus on customer value which will help them extend contracts."
Resolution #5: I will avoid bad relationships. Make sure the situation is right or everyone is in for some heartache. "Walk away from bad deals that are being led by procurement rate-card flunkies who only understand price," says Fersht of HfS. "The only way to change the game is to insist on terms of engagement that drive innovation and value-not simply low-cost and squeezed-margins that will ultimately disappoint."
Resolution #6: I will start things off on the right foot. "Why is it that the transition from an insourced or legacy IT outsourcing provider to the new provider almost invariably hits code red status?" wonders Martin of Pace Harmon. Outsourcing providers are good at creating transition plans on paper, terrible at managing them in reality. "Vendors have become systemically weak at project management-ironic, given their heritage," says Martin. "One CIO even asked us whether vendors create issues during transition to create a lasting memory for their customers, making them think twice about starting over with a new vendor in five years."