The Impact of Outsourcing on ADM

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Lineup 1500Last week, Steve Hall, Partner & Managing Director at ISG (formerly TPI), presented a webinar on the topic of aligning vendor SLAs with long-term value. The discussion focused on the need to not only consider cost savings within ADM (Application Development & Maintenance), but also the importance of risk mitigation and value enhancement of vendor-client relationships.

As businesses increasingly look to shift from a “Run the Business” (RtB) model to a “Change the Business” (CtB) perspective, broader adoption of software tools to provide automated function points counts and technical insights, as well as increase application structural quality, are critical to successfully moving to the CtB model. To read more on the topic, check out Steve’s post.

We enhanced the webinar discussion with real-time polling of the attendees. Here are the polls conducted during the webinar and the corresponding responses:

With how many ADM vendors does your organization or your client work?

Poll Results 1These findings support one of the trends Steve discussed: multi-sourcing. Organizations are increasingly segmenting their outsourcing strategy rather than using a monolithic approach. The approaches to multi-sourcing vary from functional or business unit to specialties by technology. Nonetheless, the outsourcing landscape is becoming increasingly complex and both clients and vendors must work together to coexist and delineate roles and responsibilities.

Do your outsourcing/customer SLAs include metrics on the technical quality of code being delivered?

Poll Results 3More than half of the respondents are looking at measuring structural quality in their SLAs, but only 26% already include quality metrics as part of their formal agreements with their vendors. As the complexity of the outsourcing mix increases and vendors are asked to coexist with each other or as embedded roles within clients, quality-based SLAs can be powerful monitoring solutions that add transparency, accountability and objective assessment of work performed. Transparency is essential for organizations to create mutually beneficial environments for their internal clients and service providers.

How often do you or your clients perform code reviews on vendor-delivered code?

Poll Results 2Although not institutionalized, the industry is holding vendor deliverables to a quality standard through manual or automated code review processes. As quality-based SLAs become more prevalent, organizations will need to find ways to enforce them.  Traditional or manual code review processes will quickly become a bottleneck and introduce subjectivity to a business process that will need to be objective and repeatable to keep pace with today's development environment.

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Lev Lesokhin EVP, Strategy and Analytics at CAST
Lev spends his time investigating and communicating ways that software analysis and measurement can improve the lives of apps dev professionals. He is always ready to listen to customer feedback and to hear from IT practitioners about their software development and management challenges. Lev helps set market & product strategy for CAST and occasionally writes about his perspective on business technology in this blog and other media.
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