Now that approximately half the IT shop is outsourced (on average) either on, near, or offshore, the transaction itself is hardly novel. What remains difficult, however, is getting the results one wanted when the deal was set up. Both academia and the commercial world have started to recognize the importance of the individuals that get those results, not just those who put the deals together.
With regard to sourcing, I see 2012 as the year of the contract manager. More universities will offer contract management as a degree (not just a module), yet it will take some time for the students to enter the marketplace. The professional contract management associations will have a boom in membership (and for those with a job board, an increase in postings). But the demand for good contract managers will outstrip supply — next year and for years to come.
In 2012, to “set and forget” a contract will only be the domain of the most naïve organizations. To get results, and the return on investment, organizations will need to invest in:
- Building contract management as an organizational competence, and not treat it as an ad hoc task;
- Creating practical, reality-based contracts that can be managed well, as opposed to the rather complex maze-like documents currently in play, and
- Recognizing, rewarding, and keeping the contract managers themselves.