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UK Government Learns a lesson in Multisourcing vs Outsourcing

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Outsourcing is getting a bit of a bashing lately.

Analysis of the (UK) Government’s controversial £100bn “outsourcing” programmes found private firms “creaming off” easy cases while “parking” problematic ones. The implication being that they could make easy profits from the easy cases, “gaming the system” to make money for their shareholders at the expense of the taxpayer.

The Government outsources many of the services that traditionally the public sector would have handled, such as its scheme to help unemployed people back into work and this whole episode is a timely lesson in why multisourcing trumps outsourcing.

The difference?

Outsourcing puts you at the mercy of the capabilities, experience and often limitations of the supplier, multisourcing opens you up to a world of opportunities from scores of suppliers.

Outsourcing ties you into a single service provider, locks you into a limited knowledge base and resource pool. Multisourcing gives you access to that supplier but through a mechanism that also gives you access to their competitor's knowledge base and resource pool and that of their infinite rival businesses.

The multisourcing model is geared to find what best fits you and the supplier. Take the example of the UK Government, outsourcing to companies who have tendered so low that they have to "cherry pick" the lucrative cases to make the contract work for them. A multisourced approach provides a buffer between your need and ever expanding available solutions that weighs up cost, ability, expertise and all the criteria that guarantee delivery.

Be honest how often in a client meeting is the answer "always yes"? How often are the means of delivering on a promise deliberated afterwards. That's you acting as a supplier. Why should your supplier be any different. Of course they're not. They'll tell you "yes" and start worrying about "how" before the ink is even dry on the contract.

The multisource model is geared to win/win. Suppliers efficiently working in their area of expertise at a cost that won't bankrupt you or them!

This report into Government outsourcing, by the Institute for Government (IfG), concluded that the Government did not have the skills to manage private sector contracts effectively.

It recommended ministers slowed down plans for further outsourcing and carry out a review of all major new contracts.

Or alternatively ... multisource. Multisourcing would solve all these problems for the Government. The UK Government should wake up to multisourcing. And there are lessons in this for everyone.

Contact us to learn more about how Multisourcing from Stoneseed can help you to ensure high-quality, dynamic and cost effective IT services.

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