Academic journal article Research-Technology Management

Multisourcing: Moving beyond Outsourcing to Achieve Growth and Agility

Academic journal article Research-Technology Management

Multisourcing: Moving beyond Outsourcing to Achieve Growth and Agility

Article excerpt

Multisourcing: Moving Beyond Outsourcing to Achieve Growth and Agility; Linda Cohen and Allie Young; Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA; 2005; 288pp., $35.00.

Two Gartner Research vice presidents assert that yesterday's ad hoc sourcing approaches are ineffective and must give way to an operational model they call multisourcing. They define this as "a new operational model that obtains business services from multiple sources inside and outside corporate walls to obtain the best business outcomes."

Based on collaborative research with Gartner analysts and consultants since the early 1990s, authors Cohen and Young believe that multisourcing is not an option for companies but, rather, "will be the new normal for successful business operations." They stress that multisourcing is not simply outsourcing improved; rather, it is an innovative discipline that takes organizations beyond "quick-fix" cost cutting to enable capability building, global expansion, increased agility and profitability, and competitive advantage. As such, they maintain that multisourcing requires a new mind-set and frameworks for communicating, interacting with, and overseeing service relationships both inside and outside the organization.

Central to success with multisourcing is the creation of a strategy that is tightly linked to the overall business strategy and constantly monitored by an effective enterprise-wide governance system. "You will never achieve optimal performance without a well-planned and integrated sourcing strategy," they write.

The need for a strategy is the first of four themes that are reflected throughout the book and around which it is organized. The authors describe the other three as follows:

* Multisourcing governance is the single most important factor in determining success, even more important than strategy. …

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