I was so struck by the simplicity of a recent post on the Horses for Sources website, run by IT and outsourcing expert Phil Fersht and his team of global-sourcing analysts, that I was compelled to share it here.
The title of the post, “Why we need to stop boring ourselves to death and focus on what really matters: building TRUST,” kind of says it all.
The gist of it is that buyers of technology services want little more than to turn a whole lot more control over to their service providers; this, it points out, is their No. 1 choice for a course of action to “reset these stale services relationships to drive more value beyond labor arbitrage and standard operational delivery.”
And this is what’s top-of-mind for services buyers, the post says, despite what you and I keep hearing about all the other hyped-up tech trends it cites: “how robotic automation, digital technology … big data and outcome-based pricing are going to be the biggest game changers to disrupt the business world since the invention of the desk.”
I love what follows, I guess to depict where all this excitable tech thinking is going to take us:
“Suddenly, there’s going to be minimal need for human labor … so we’ll just sit at home all day running our lives from our mobile devices sequencing our own genomes using some cool analytics app that we only need to pay for once we’ve added 10 years to our life expectancy. Somebody please shoot me now … let’s dial this dialog back to reality for a few minutes.”
Indeed, as reality would have it, when Horses for Sources asked attendees of its recent gathering of enterprise buy-side operations leaders in Chicago to choose among six actions that would best “improve the quality and outcome of your current sourcing initiative,” the winner, by far, was “the buyer letting go and giving more responsibility and value processes to [the] provider.”
Here’s the HfS response to that:
“Oh my god. After all the whining about things like, ‘All they do is sell to us,’ and ‘All that cool stuff they promised us during the sales process and never delivered’ … the real reason behind this stagnation is the simple fact that most buyers are just struggling to let go!”
In order to do that, though, they need to — you got it — trust that their providers can take on higher-value work from them. And to earn that trust, providers need to prove they can do that. In the words of HfS:
“This means many need to change behavior … the [oh-so-boring] overselling needs to stop and the demonstration of real value needs to start. … Service buyers do not ‘let go’ until they know they have a safe pair of hands to trust with their beloved processes … .”