Yesterday we were treated to some insightful commentary from John Martin of Building SaaS on the Future of Services Sourcing. I must admit that this was not an area I had thought much about before I started the series, but after John’s post and doing some research on Rearden Commerce‘s site, I am convinced that services sourcing is going to become a major part of your future sourcing initiatives internally and externally.
After all, with services spending increasing twice as fast as that on indirect goods, with most organizations paying 10-35% more than their negotiated rates for services due to non-compliance and maverick spending (as per a recent Aberdeen study), and with a 10-20% savings potential in the first year alone with the adoption of an on-demand web services platform, your services spending can not be ignored, especially if you are a large organization.
The question is, how do you approach your services spend today in a single, holistic fashion when there does not appear to be a single platform or framework for attacking your broad range of service categories such as T&E, telecommunications, printing, and consulting needs?
I think the answer is a combination of extensible and integrateable on-demand platforms built on services oriented architectures (SOAs) and procurement outsourcing for those categories that you cannot manage effectively in house. For example, you might use a platform like Rearden Commerce for your T&E expenses, a platform like Iasta for managing your local indirect consulting and advertising spend (since there are similarities between services and indirect goods), and an outsourcing services provider like or Provade to manage your corporate services, telecommunications, customer service, and consulting spend.
In the future, I think you’ll see strong integration between web-enabled on-demand SOA platforms and procurement outsource providers which will give you access to both their services and the services of an on-demand platform that can be used by each and every employee in your organization to manage all aspects of your organization’s services spend. Any differing thoughts?