A time for reflection

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This has been a very challenging and interesting year for all industries. The credit crunch has had a considerable impact on the world economy and no one would dispute that we are in unpredictable times.

Outsourcing deals have changed significantly in terms of what end users expect and what suppliers are offering and it is imperative that all those involved in the industry have their finger on the pulse.

In recent years we have seen an increase in ‘added value’ being considered a key aspect of outsourcing deals. Strategic partnerships that look at solving specific issues within a business were becoming more prominent.

End users were looking less at the bottom line and focusing more on what an outsourcing deal can do to enhance their organisation’s performance, whether it be efficiency or providing more of a diverse range of services to their customers.

However, the impact of the economic downturn has seen organisations that are looking to outsource once again solely focus on saving money.

Despite this, suppliers should be cautious about cutting back on ‘added value’ services, such as innovation. Without knowing when end users will start to look beyond price again, suppliers need to ensure they aren’t cutting themselves out of future revenue streams.

This uncertainty in what the future holds for outsourcing deals is an issue that is going to be addressed at two important NOA events. Tomorrow’s NOA member’s meeting at Morgan Lewis will look to shed light on how the recession is affecting ITO. Prominent users within our industry will thrash out the issues facing IT outsourcing as well as debating trends that have emerged in recent months.

But where is our industry heading? We have the outsourcing industry’s leaders revealing all at the annual NOA Summit on the 18th & 19th November. The Q&A sessions at both these events are set to spark healthy debate on the impact the economic downturn is having on the industry as a whole and where people see vulnerable areas in the outsourcing marketplace.

With 2009 just around the corner, learning how to navigate through this turbulent time will prove vital. 2008 has been a dynamic year for all industries and it is imperative that all those involved in this market take stock of where they are at and share knowledge on where they see themselves heading.

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