The next-gen sourcing archetype: A modern enterprise that’s digital, user-friendly and business-driven


For most companies, a digital workplace is the defining model of a modern enterprise, but there are many paths forward.  Those striving to reach that end by investing heavily in sourcing enterprise IT services tend to focus on business outcomes much more than simple cost savings.

Such is the next-gen sourcing archetype, as defined in an Information Services Group (ISG) report that identifies five types of enterprise buyers, or archetypes. Each one has a unique set of business and technological needs and challenges when it comes to digital transformation. I’ve already covered the ad-hoc and transformation, cloud-enabled and digital archetypes, and here, I will examine the next-gen sourcing archetype.

The journey to a digital workplace is very much a work in progress. It takes time to break down siloed systems and processes, untether computing devices and create a virtual place that delivers services, devices and tools people can access anytime, anywhere.

Business at the forefront

ISG defines the next-gen sourcing archetype as having “deep experience in sourcing their workplace services. They do not have a disjointed IT operation but rather one that enables business differentiation. These clients will look for a digital workplace solution that is oriented to achieving business objectives and enabling business growth.”

So, how has this archetype been able to fast-track the transition, even though they are often still on the journey? For starters, they begin with a well-planned vision for the workplace, and decisions always refer back to that vision.  They don’t view enterprise IT as a cost center. Silos are already dismantled, and the enterprise IT function is deeply integrated with business functions.  To them, the transformation is expected to deliver much more than just cost savings.

Clearly, business is at the forefront. As these next-gen sourcing archetypes shift more and more to a digital workplace, that transformation is fueled not by the technology end-users, but by business need. That’s not to say end-user experience doesn’t matter. In fact, it is a top priority. Often, these companies leverage highly-automated IT support systems that feature self-service and knowledge assets to improve user experience.

Advisory and consulting plays a key role in determining next steps, and there is a high emphasis on agility and rapid deployment of technology in order to keep pace with the constantly changing business landscape. As such, these companies pursue flexible contracts with service providers so they can let go of one in exchange for another that better meets their needs and standards. In turn, anyone seeking to provide a service must be aware of the business environment and able to change and adapt a portfolio to match.

Automation in the back

To transform the workplace and push innovation and productivity, workers need to be free of what Harvard Business Review calls “organizational drag.” That can mean cutting meeting times or stopping drawn-out projects that aren’t working or delivering on the intended goal. It also means axing the wasted time and inefficient processes typically associated with IT, like applications that require lots of manual entries or help desks that take days to solve an employee’s problem. Often, consolidating enterprise IT into an on-site location can lead to more rapid responses. And options like site support services that support walk-ins, IT vending lockers, and instant video support conferencing can help cater to employee preferences.

Even when automation is introduced to boost efficiencies, if there are poor underlying systems and poor integration, there can still be drag. Artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots and other tools of automation are only going to perform as well as the underlying systems that they pull from.

The archetype evolution

The archetypes we’ve covered – the ad-hoc and transformation, cloud-enabled, digital and next-gen sourcing archetype – have all developed based on the current business trends, and we expect they’ll evolve with time. For example, the growing concern for mobility management over device management is one such trend we can see occurring in real time. And new archetypes with different environments and focuses could even emerge.

What won’t change, however, is a desire to use the tools available to organizations to maintain relevancy and competitiveness in a constantly changing world.

Thanks for following along as we’ve covered the different enterprise archetypes. We’d love to hear your thoughts on them, and which one you think your company is.

Maria-Pardee-headshotMaria Pardee is DXC Technology’s Vice President of Sales and Offering General Manager for the Workplace and Mobility offering. Maria has held a number of management positions in global information technology and consulting companies. Most recently, she has held the position of Chief Information Officer of BT (Retail Division) and Senior Vice President of Global Accounts at Alcatel-Lucent (Enterprise Division). Her area of emphasis with her customers has been balance sheet transformation, business alignment of IT and core business, and global delivery of large-scale IT programs. She has been recognized as an IT leader in ComputerWorld and listed in the Financial Times as one of the leading women in IT.

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