Outsource Magazine Issue 26 - (Page 56)

This issue: NOA summiT & AwArds review; iNNOvATiON; 2012 eveNTs CAleNdAr NOA summiT: geTTiNg TOgeTher TO leArN frOm eACh OTher T National Outsourcing Association Chairman Martyn Hart looks back at a successful and spectacular NOA Summit & Awards in November… joined Duncan onstage, for a joint panel discussion. “Cases studies showing immediate savings of 25 per cent are not uncommon,” he said, whilst explaining how the cloud had changed the game in 2011. Although, according to Karl, the cloud is not as green as some would have us believe, as “data centres need to be built quickly, and given the economic conditions, environmental issues do not seem to be of key importance at the moment.” Outsourcing and cloud are synonymous these days – both the Summit’s ‘headliners’ – Ian McDonald, head of Infrastructure & Cloud at News International, and Siki Giunta, VP of Cloud Computing at CSC – gave cloud-centric insights. Ian McDonald told me that being a Kiwi means he’s compelled to “call a spade a spade”, and this openness certainly makes for an excellent presentation as he laid bare the ins, outs, ups and downs of migrating your whole operation to Googledocs. Siki’s presentation dealt with the risk aspect of heading into the cloud – detailing that although “88 per cent of organisations would go cloud if they could achieve the same or better data security than their own data centre, the public cloud is too risky for those that have stringent security and compliance requirements.” And who doesn’t these days? I see this as a massive challenge for cloud providers, who will certainly be looking for growth in the public cloud space in 2012. One of my favourite presentations at the Summit came on Day 1, from a man who is so press-phobic, he wouldn’t allow any journalists in the room as he gave his startlingly honest appraisal of how his last few outsourcing arrangements panned out. I’m not even sure whether to name him now, but I will reveal that he is a C-level executive from a major UK retail brand. Hugely interactive: I’ve never seen so many hands go up as he described what he did when faced with outsourcing’s alltoo-common seven year itch. We’d love to have him back, so watch this space! Another highlight of the Summit was John Varney, of Essex County Council. John’s candid talk majored on his wariness of so-called “partnerships.” He said: “Outsourcing can go wrong for one reason: partnerships. Partnerships are a way to describe contracts. However, a true partnership is a component of a complex outsourcing agreement – one of which isn’t just based on the contract. Ultimately outsourcing is a battlefield – meetings happen, minutes are taken but the mountain of innovation and transformation is often solely placed on the supplier which can be very dangerous.” On the first evening of the conference, I went for some excellent fish and chips and a couple of cold Guinnesses – by way of an evening’s bonding with the Buffalo Communications team – after all, one of John Varney’s key teachings was having informal sessions with key suppliers in pubs! I’d like to give a big thank you to Buffalo, particularly Natalie Milsom, for the all hard work and late nights that go into organising a large conference. Not to mention an awards ceremony… he National Outsourcing Association (NOA) threw open its doors to the outsourcing community last month. For the first time, we elected to combine the Summit and Awards, and I felt the whole event was a tremendous success. There is a genuine sense of community at these events, and now that our sector is maturing, a fantastic opportunity to come together to learn from each other by day, and have a few cold ones by night. I wonder how many of next year’s outsourcing arrangements will have been first floated over a glass of champagne at the NOA Awards? Time will tell. Duncan Aitchison of TPI opened up the presentations, painting a gloomy economic picture but highlighting that IT investment is rife, with more being spent during the first nine months of 2011 than the whole of 2010, as companies look to take advantage of the efficiency gains that IT upgrades bring. His presentation perfectly illustrated how, faced with hard times, private sector organisations are more likely to choose buy over make, as they seek out the least risky ways to save the most money. Or, in the case of the retail sector, the least risky ways to make more money, as the last quarter’s 600 per cent rise in EMEA outsourcing spending indicates. Duncan also explained the trend for smaller contracts, but lots more of them. Multi-sourcing, it seems, is the strategy de jour, in these risk-averse times. Inevitably, the conversation turned to the cloud. Computer Weekly’s Karl Flinders To find out more about the NOA visit www.noa.co.uk 56 www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk ●●● http://www.noa.co.uk http://www.noa.co.uk http://www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outsource Magazine Issue 26

News & Comment
2012 in outsourcing
Fine – but what does it all mean?
Steering Steria
Separate Ways?
Getting Smart
Northern Lights
Heads in the Cloud
Connecting Service
Bigger and Better
NOA Round-Up
Breaking Through
You Cannot be Serious!
Back to the Future
Accounts Payable
The Power of Two
Public-Private Partnerships
Kill or Cure
Public Problems
Top Ten
The Legal View
HfS Research
Online Round-Up
Inside Source
The Last Word

Outsource Magazine Issue 26