Irene Pimentel

Irene Pimentel

Irene Pimentel is an IBRS analyst who focuses on news and information on the global IT Outsourcing market. Irene provides IBRS clients with up to date information on all outsourcing deals that are taking place helping our clients understand who is winning business in what markets. With over 10 years experience as a management consultant, Irene has worked with some of Australia's largest blue chip companies and public sector organisations. Irene has also worked as a research manager for an IT sourcing consultancy, providing clients with targeted intelligence and advice for their specific IT sourcing transactions.

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Like any other sourcing transaction, relationships with Managed Security Service Providers (‘MSSPs’) that provide information security must be rationalised and planned by customers. Information security is an area of growing concern, but must be fully understood before a decision can be made regarding the approach an organisation will take to protect valuable information. Part One of this two part series explores the rationalisation of relationships with MSSPs, Part Two focuses on obtaining and managing these services.

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When developing an approach to a business process outsourcing relationship, the buyer and provider need to consider the buyer’s objectives for outsourcing the business function and what impact non-performance or sub-standard performance of the services will have on business operations as a whole. The more complex the business process being outsourced, the closer and more sustaining the business relationship between the buyer and the provider needs to be. Establishing a relationship that can be sustained requires an assessment of whether the business process should be outsourced and if so, what vendor should be selected and how to maintain the relationship throughout the course of the agreement.

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A monthly review of all of the sourcing activity, upcoming tenders and news items.

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When outsourcing, a buyer must develop a relationship structure based on what type of relationship suits its organisational structure, the activities to be outsourced and how success will be measured. For instance, using a transaction-based relationship model, a strategic model or a combination of both to measure the success of the project. Relationship difficulties might arise during the course of a sourcing transaction, shifting the focus from maximising the value of the relationship to relationship tensions. The types of problems that cause relationship difficulties include a lack of clarity regarding responsibilities between parties to the contract, unmet expectations and unexpected costs. How parties will resolve or avoid these difficulties should be considered when developing the relationship structure, internal processes and resources required by parties to the agreement. When outsourcing, a buyer must develop a relationship structure based on what type of relationship suits its organisational structure, the activities to be outsourced and how success will be measured. For instance, using a transaction-based relationship model, a strategic model or a combination of both to measure the success of the project. Relationship difficulties might arise during the course of a sourcing transaction, shifting the focus from maximising the value of the relationship to relationship tensions. The types of problems that cause relationship difficulties include a lack of clarity regarding responsibilities between parties to the contract, unmet expectations and unexpected costs. How parties will resolve or avoid these difficulties should be considered when developing the relationship structure, internal processes and resources required by parties to the agreement.

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A monthly review of all of the sourcing activity, upcoming tenders and news items.

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Part 1 of this article, published in IBRS July 2003, discussed different approaches taken by Public Sector agencies when sourcing IT. Part 2 outlines the management challenges faced by Public Sector Agencies when sourcing IT, focusing on the initial planning and assessment phases of an outsourcing initiative. The sourcing model selected (See Part 1: “Public Sector Sourcing Models” IBRS, July 2003) and internal processes established to manage this model should focus on achieving the business benefits sought and specific requirements of the agency as identified when defining the current IT status.

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Conclusion: Without experience and knowledge of the local outsourcing market, public sector agencies risk inefficiencies when developing outsourcing practices that are sufficiently flexible to change as the agency’s circumstances change.

When outsourcing public sector agencies require solid governance, accountability processes and regular reviews to ensure the approach taken will suit their internal structures, policies and IT needs.

Ongoing information support is also critical so the agency has a thorough understanding of the changing environment, local outsourcing market and lessons learned from other public sector agencies that have adopted different outsourcing strategies.


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Much can happen during the course of an IT services agreement, causing parties to re-evaluate an arrangement, and seek change or termination. A prudent approach to IT outsourcing arrangements recognises the long-term likelihood of changed circumstances and provides both parties the option of re-assessing and if necessary changing the services agreement. The agreement should have a shared vision, coupled with a precise legal framework and processes to allow for parties to affect the most desirable solution: review of the current arrangement, followed by renegotiation or termination.

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A monthly review of all of the sourcing activity, upcoming tenders and news items

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A monthly review of all of the sourcing activity, upcoming tenders and news items

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The ANAO has recently highlighted the ineffectiveness of the contract performance monitoring and management activities in the last five years of government agencies which have engaged external suppliers of IT services. The Federal Government’s experience in this area is salutary and provides a timely warning to organisations considering outsourcing IT functions.

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A monthly review of all of the sourcing activity, upcoming tenders and news items

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