Anna Frazzetto's Blog

Digital Innovations and Technology Solutions

Demand Innovation and Get It with the Right Outsourcing Provider

Last Friday's blog entry from Stephanie Overby on CIO.com posited a great question: Is it realistic to look for innovation out of your outsourcer? I have my own opinion, and I say absolutely! Innovation should be part of the added value for which businesses turn to outsourcing partners. Businesses are looking to gain value not just body sourcing.

The real challenge in tapping into innovation comes when you go to the mega outsourcers. Their focus is commodity; they are body shops, not innovators. A business trying to milk innovation from the big players is wasting its time. Mega outsourcers will give you high volume at a low cost and little-to-no creativity on the project. The thinking, in their low-cost model, is the client's job. Those that do put the onus on the giant outsourcers to innovate often get it, but not without paying for it and paying big.

From the business leaders I speak with, I have found that the greatest success in gaining innovation through outsourcing happens among the small-to-mid-size providers. It is these specialty shops, focused on delivering to a niche group/industry, that have the rich, specialized talent sources and experience that fuels innovative solutions. I couldn't agree more with the perspective outlined by Overby that you need to work around the traditional outsource process in order to access true and valuable innovation.