Both outsourcing clients and suppliers seem to view benchmarking as a necessary evil. Clients must do it to ensure that pricing -- especially in long-term contracts -- remains fair. Suppliers must do it to win and retain clients. Pretty much everyone agrees that, at least to some degree, the process is broken.
Prompted by this widespread dissatisfaction, several members of the Corporate IT Forum have spent the past two years funding, designing, developing and testing a peer-to-peer outsourcing contract benchmarking service.
The new Continuous Performance Improvement for Outsourced IT Services (CPI OS) "offers an independent method for IT users to compare and benchmark areas of their outsourced IT estate," writes the group's director of improvement services in vnunet.com. To help ensure accuracy, the benchmarking comparison takes place between organizations with outsourcing contracts of a similar size, scale, scope and complexity.
The goal, writes the director, is to promote market transparency and to improve the relationships between outsourcing suppliers and the organizations that purchase their services.