Thanks to all of you who have (so far) set aside 15 minutes to complete our most probing study yet on the State of Outsourcing in 2014 (and if you haven't yet done so, please click here NOW).
Anyhow, we couldn't resist a little sneak peak at the interim data as it rolls in, and one area that peaked my interest was when we asked advisors (161 so far) how their clients' demands of them were changing. And for the gray-haired old woolly mammoths, this isn't great news... their clients are now more interested in advisory services that can help them govern their outsourcing engagements better - and they also want more data and research to help them approach outsourcing more effectively:
While a good number of clients still want more help with their negotiations, it's clear that most clients with experience of outsourcing also want an advisor who can stick around and provide ongoing support (or at least some project-based support).
So what does this all mean?
Advisors need to do research. 52% of advisors report that their clients have increased (many significantly) their thirst for research and benchmarks. Simply put, buyers want to be more empowered to understand the market, analyze their operations, and compare their performance with other firms. Hence, advisors need to have the ability to arm their clients with data and insight to help them. If they do not have any research, their clients will likely look elsewhere for help.
Advisors need to understand how to support governance processes. 50% of advisors see their buyer clients wanting more help with governance and their provider relationships. This means providers need some advisors on staff who have lived the practitioner experience (with the battle scars to prove it) - they can't just reel out deal guys who used to broker contracts for service providers to craft governance strategies. There is no written rule book for governance - it's something that clients need to learn through good advice and real-world experience.
Advisors still need to be good at negotiating deals. Buyer needs for deal help are definitely not decreasing - and close to half are wanting even more help. This means the deal guys can still get paid, but clearly need to up their game if they want to keep winning business with clients. Clients want to hire advisors which can be great at deals, but also great beyond the deal... and we've long been at pains, here at HfS, to discuss how clients need the same people negotiating the contract and actually living it after the ink has dried.
Stay tuned for a lot more from this awesome study... coming soon to a web-enabled device somewhere in your life