Study reveals widespread dissatisfaction amongst large organisations with telecom and network sourcing projects

Large organisations globally are losing £12 billion annually through failures in the sourcing and governance of their telecom services, according to a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Hudson & Yorke, specialists in telecommunications and network sourcing. These losses are due to 80% of all telecoms sourcing projects not being as efficient as they could be, with firms potentially able to save 20% on each contract spend.

The independent study surveyed 81 multinational corporations1 from 12 countries2 and a variety of industries. The findings quantify how adoption of best practice in telecoms sourcing can result in increased efficiencies, reduced costs and improved service levels.

The key findings which are a stark warning to business leaders include:

Staff shortcuts

  • While CIOs are spending up to 20% of IT budgets on telecom services, they are committing well under one fifth of team time to managing their telecom strategy, sourcing and governance, resulting in financial loss and reduced quality of service from telecom service providers

Short-sighted strategy

  • While nearly three quarters of respondents (74%) had considered their total cost of ownership and current contracts in detail, only half that number felt they had thoroughly defined their telecoms sourcing strategy, demonstrating a lack of consistency
  • At the end of a major sourcing project, one in five of respondents felt they were not satisfied that they had met the objectives set out in the original business case for the investment

Harry McDermott, CEO at Hudson & Yorke, comments: "CIOs are increasingly expected by their CEOs and CFOs to deliver more services and improved quality at less cost. There is clearly a significant discrepancy between what large organisations hope to achieve with a major telecoms sourcing project, and the reality of what is currently being delivered with limited experience and resources."

In response to the findings, Hudson & Yorke recommends that CIOs adopt four key best practices that will enable organisations to reduce costs whilst maximising service levels:

Planning is imperative

  • CIOs must get the technical and service strategy right before starting the sourcing process. Organisations should develop a long-term telecom and network strategic plan which is tied to wider IT planning. Future as well as current requirements must be considered and alternative technologies, services and methodologies evaluated

More resources required

  • Many firms underestimate the time required to complete a major sourcing project. Cutting corners at any stage of the process will have a significant adverse effect on the outcome. Attention to detail, proper timeline planning and use of skilled resources are all vital

Multisourcing is a must

  • Organisations can achieve significant benefits through selective multisourcing with best-of-breed vendors. This can reduce costs, improve service quality and encourage innovation

External specialists critical

  • With organisations typically negotiating a major telecoms contract once every 3+ years, it is unlikely that internal teams will have the necessary experience, skills and tools to manage the process as efficiently as possible. The engagement of external specialists is key – their fees will be more than recouped due to the lower charges and better quality of service achieved

McDermott concludes, "With telecoms infrastructure increasingly underpinning the wider convergence of IT enterprise strategies such as virtualisation and cloud computing, its optimisation is more critical now than ever before. As organisations plan their IT projects for 2010 and beyond, CIOs need to change the way they approach, plan and source their telecoms in a disciplined and methodical way – looking beyond their existing sourcing models – whilst dedicating the right skills and adequate time to projects. With attention to detail and best practice, the results will follow."


1. Organisations with an annual telecoms spend of at least £6 million

2. Countries include US, UK, Australia, Switzerland, India, Sweden and Denmark

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.