When we finished dinner with one of my potential customers, we had no discussion of business whatsoever. Let’s call the customer Harry for the sake of simplicity. We were chatting outside the restaurant waiting for our cars to arrive. It was just then Harry asked me something that was very much unexpected.
‘Do you think, someone like me will add value in your company?’ Harry asked.
I was taken aback for a moment. Certainly I did not understand the question initially, but gathered myself to prod him more. Maybe he is going to loose his job or maybe already lost it and kept it confidential so far.
‘We are certainly adding opportunities regularly as we are growing and can discuss it when you want. Are you really looking out from such a good company?’ I tried to give the best possible answer and check out his responses as well.
‘Actually, it is neither, but the way things are progressing, I might have to move out soon.’ Harry opened up.
‘You know, I have been asked to outsource my portfolio to a vendor who is telling me to sit back and just monitor the results while they will take over everything. They are promising savings but my own expertise will be of no use. My company has just hired me and I look forward to adding real value to what I intend to do and not give everything to the vendor.’ Continued Harry.
I started recalling similar sentiments getting echoed by many more of my contacts and customers on how the IT services companies are becoming more opaque in their operations under the grab of managed services. It is no more about lower cost or convenience, it was the beginning of loosing the control over the thing that they actually needed to control.
Mindless outsourcing that was common decades back when technology budgets were in abundance and business worked on five to ten-year transformation plans but with changing business environment, need for nimble and flexible teams is the order of the day. IT Companies, instead of creating a high level of engagement with business teams are now resorting to opaque managed services that were a good option a few years back, but loosing charm with the rapid adoption of cloud and digital technologies. The outsourcing world was confined to lower end of the work that can now easily be automated or productized. With this change, outsourcing has been reset with a mix of outsourcing, insourcing and co-innovation that IT vendors are not ready to adopt.
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Like Harry, many more are our customers and the tribe is increasing fast.