Is Integration-as-a-Service the IT Model of the Future?

By Stephanie Overby, CIO |  IT Management, outsourcing

There's little doubt that multi-sourcing enterprise IT services. The average U.S. IT shop is working with 13.5 service providers overall, according to Gartner. But managing multiple providers remains a challenge for most IT organizations.

Some IT organizations, like the State of Texas Department of Information Resources, have decided to outsource the multi-sourcing management to an external master service integrator.

The idea was met with warranted fox-guarding-the-henhouse concerns by many industry watchers. But Shaun Daly, partner with outsourcing consultancy Sourcing Advisory Services, says adoption of the third-party managed sourcing model--which he calls multi-sourcing Integration-as-a-Service--is poised to accelerate. talked to Daly about what might drive adoption of multi-sourcing integration services, the pros and cons of the model, and what it means GM is getting out of the multi-sourcing management game.

Doesn't engaging a third party to manage the IT service portfolio just add another layer of complexity to the arrangement?

The challenge for determining scope of what should be sourced or retained internally remains the same for multi-sourcing service integration. The question remains: who is best positioned to treat it as a core competency and, therefore, should be better positioned long-term to provide this service.

Our experience has shown that a select group of the suppliers have developed a best-in-class approach to ensure the enterprise receives a more flexible and healthy service. We've seen that elevating service integration as a discrete service delivery function actually addresses and increases value accretion by exposing the complexity, the misalignments, the overlaps and the gaps.

Historically, in a single- or multi-sourced environment, the real complexities are papered over. But "your mess for less" is an unacceptable answer for modern competitive firms. A coordinated service integration solution is necessary to realize the full benefits of best-of-breed multisourcing. Eliminating duplication and making processes consistent and repeatable are the keys to performance management.

Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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