Strategic CIO // Executive Insights & Innovation
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2/15/2008
04:33 AM
Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
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Report From India: 5 Reasons To Outsource

Cost is No. 5 on the list for Robert Willett, CIO of Best Buy and CEO of its international operation. A partnership with an IT services company needs to save money, but "if you move cost to No. 1, you might as well not outsource." Here is his full list.

Cost is No. 5 on the list for Robert Willett, CIO of Best Buy and CEO of its international operation. A partnership with an IT services company needs to save money, but "if you move cost to No. 1, you might as well not outsource." Here is his full list.Willett shared his thinking at the Nasscom conference for India's IT services industry, taking place in Mumbai. Here's his list of five reasons for a company to consider working with an IT services company.

1. To get new capabilities;

2. To get them "at pace" -- adding capabilities and implementing projects more quickly than a company otherwise could;

3. To reduce risks;

4. To tap specialist skills -- people that an end-user company can't afford to keep on staff all the time;

5. To lower costs.

Willett offered other insights into IT leadership. Best Buy has put "customer centricity" at the core of its thinking, a shift away from product centricity. So the IT team assesses every project in those terms -- is it customer centric, or not? Today, 40% are not customer centric, and the goal is to get that down to 20% in 18 months.

While many people at Nasscom have talked about IT service companies understanding their customers' business, Willett says that doesn't necessarily mean he wants all retail specialists. "The banking sector's always had better CRM," he says. "Why should I listen to a retail specialist for CRM?"

That gets to a skill that Willett says most companies, including Best Buy, need to get better at to get more for their IT services partnerships. They need to get better at learning from the ideas and experiences these companies have and putting them to use. "We need to be more on receive, less on transmit," he says.

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