Forrester: Outsourcers are learning from mobile phone pricing plans

"Everyone went through the first round of outsourcing and in most cases it was a wasted effort. Enterprise IT departments aren't handing the keys over to outsourcers anymore."

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"Everyone went through the first round of outsourcing and in most cases it was a wasted effort. Enterprise IT departments aren't handing the keys over to outsourcers anymore."

"Now enterprise IT buyers are considering the business requirements and more options when fulfilling business needs."

That is the view of James Staten, principal analyst at Forrester Research, who last week delivered a keynote address on outsourcing at Forrester's IT Infrastructure and Operations Forum in Las Vegas.

In response to a changing market, outsourcers are revamping their pricing models. For instance, Staten says outsourcers are embracing the rollover minutes model of the cell phone market. If a customer pays $50 per month for a service, but in any given month only uses $10 worth of services, then the remaining $40 could be applied to a month when more services are consumed.

"It can be easy for pay-per-use models to get out of control and become very difficult to forecast," Staten says. "But with the concept of rollover minutes, enterprise customers can forecast a monthly expenditure and float services throughout the year."

Staten says vendors must also analyse what they do best and market those skills to a new wave of IT buyers looking to blend smaller sets of services with their own internal resources.

"We are already seeing it with bigger traditional outsourcers, which are being more selective with the services they offer," he says. "But others will have to learn as they get trounced by competitors that specialised in a set of services and helped the enterprise become much more efficient."

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