Saturday, July 22, 2006


Outsourcing, Industry Analysts and the Lack of Integrity...

Do the so-called industry analysts actually analysis anything in the outsourcing space?

I spent some time attempting to track down research in the outsourcing space and came up empty handed. Many folks are keenly aware of folks in India that work for outsourcing firms and how they doctor their resume to show more experience than they actually have. The casual observation is that certain outsourcing firms do this more than others. Imagine if analysts were to start publishing a resume integrity factor metric on each firm?

Some firms as a practice don't even show you resumes but instead stick to high-level BIOs of their employees. Wouldn't this be useful information to track? Anyway, my observations are that there are common pain points regardless of which outsourcing firm one works with. Some analyst firms have observed that cultural traits such as when American's say yes it indicates a commitment while in India yes may mean they acknowledge that they received the message. Shouldn't cultural analysis go a lot deeper than this? There are many Indian outsourcing bloggers in the blogosphere and it would be interesting if they could blog on cultural disconnects (if they are self-aware?)

Another casual observation is that certain industry verticals tend to have higher success rates in outsourcing over other industry verticals. I suspect that some of this has to do with having consumer-level knowledge of certain business domains while lacking in others. Hey industry analysts, why not start calling out this fact.

Still haven't seen any industry analyst published detailed research on best practices on what enterprises should do when outsourcing fails (for any reason) and ways to bring it back in-house. We all know of failure stories, why not provide insight into some of them?

I wonder what other enterprises are doing in terms of knowledge transfer to outsourcing firms? No not how to transfer knowledge around the inner working of business applications as this is pretty straightforward. I am more curious about how knowledge transfer is occuring around internally created "reference architectures" , design reviews and how governance should work in a outsourcing scenario at more than a conceptual level. Which enterprises have gotten this problem space nailed. Could you work with one of them to create a case study?

Lastly, I would love to know which outsourcing firms have more open communications and allow their employees to have honest dialog vs the usual run it up the flag pole control the message scenario? I would love to understand which firm has the most bloggers? In my travels I have ran across one or two from Wipro and about the same from Infosys and Thoughtworks but haven't ran across any from Cognizant, Satyam, Accenture, Bearingpoint, McKinsey or Covansys. Do you even exist? Are you interested in engaging in a larger conversation?

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