Gartner Research

Improving IT Agility Through Adaptive Sourcing

Published: 13 February 2014

ID: G00259378

Analyst(s): Andy Rowsell-Jones , Claudio Da Rold , Linda Cohen


In a digital economy, IT agility is a given. However, traditional sourcing works against improvements and innovation, while uncoordinated business uses of IT cloud services further reduce IT agility. Adaptive sourcing of IT services is the practical alternative that addresses these shortcomings.

Table Of Contents
  • Key Question
  • Opportunities and Challenges
  • How this report will help


Executive Summary

  • Adaptive sourcing of IT services improves agility
  • Adaptive sourcing echoes the business operating model
  • The success of adaptive sourcing rests on robust management practices

Adaptive Sourcing of IT Services Improves Agility

  • Digital business imposes new IT agility demands
  • Existing approaches to sourcing fail to deliver agility
  • Adaptive sourcing avoids traditional problems by taking a layered management approach
  • Determining which service fits into which adaptive-sourcing layer

Adaptive Sourcing Echoes the Business Operating Model

  • Enterprises use different patterns of adaptive sourcing
  • Business objectives determine the best decision-making style for adaptive sourcing
  • Deciding the appropriate pattern of adaptive sourcing

The Success of Adaptive Sourcing Rests on Robust Management Practices

  • Make required changes in IT management disciplines
  • Mitigate adverse organizational impacts
  • Keep layer classifications up to date
  • Recognize the model's shortcomings
  • Conclusion

Appendix: The three layers of adaptive sourcing; case studies

  • The three layers of adaptive sourcing
  • Innovate
  • Differentiate
  • Run
  • Outsourcing "everything" at 3A Composites
  • Assa Abloy evolves toward digital identity management
  • A new business model requires agile and responsive sourcing at Benetton Group
  • InsureCo's disciplined approach to sourcing
  • Traditional IT sourcing transforms to a business-outcome-based sourcing strategy at Medavie Blue Cross
  • Michelin solutions outsources for change
  • Changing the sourcing locus of control at the New South Wales Department of Finance and Services
  • Schneider Electric systematically improves sourcing flexibility
  • A new architecture and sourcing strategy for customer-driven services at Telenor Group
  • Using a three-layer sourcing strategy to develop an agile IT organization at TIM Brasil
  • Western Australia Police adopts a three-tiered service outcome model

Further Reading

  • Related content
  • Gartner Executive Programs reports
  • Core research

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