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Customers Rate Their Outsourcers

Outsourcing is often compared to marriage: It's a long-term relationship, and picking the wrong partner can mean some rough years ahead. To gain a better understanding of how outsourcing engagements are working, InformationWeek Research surveyed 420 business technology professionals via the Web in May.
Outsourcing is often compared to marriage: It's a long-term relationship, and picking the wrong partner can mean some rough years ahead. To gain a better understanding of how outsourcing engagements are working, InformationWeek Research surveyed 420 business technology professionals via the Web in May, asking them to rate the services provided by their outsourcers in a number of categories on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest grade.

Only six companies received 25 or more valid customer evaluations and are included in the ratings. Several other major IT service providers didn't get the minimum number of responses required--an outcome that should carry neither a negative nor positive implication.

Overall, the respondents are only reasonably satisfied with their vendors' performance, as the average score for all companies ranked is a middling 6.4. That doesn't live up to their reputations--outsourcers had an average score of 6.8 in that category.

Average scores were lower in some key areas. In the cost-for-value category, it was only 5.9, while the vendors' ability to innovate on behalf of the customer was rated at a mere 5.8 on average. On the upside, outsourcers appear to be doing a better job of adhering to internal standards, as respondents rated their performance 6.8 on average in that category.

  Accenture HP IBM EDS Wipro CSC
Overall rank 1 2 3 4 5 6
Range of service offerings 7.7 7.0 6.8 6.6 5.9 5.4
Reliability 7.8 7.4 6.5 6.5 5.5 4.9
Cost/value 7.1 6.6 6.4 5.8 5.7 4.3
Availability of experts/specialists 7.8 6.9 6.6 6.7 5.3 4.7
Vertical-industry knowledge 7.6 7.1 6.6 6.4 5.5 5.2
SLAs 7.7 7.1 6.3 6.5 5.9 4.6
Strategic advice 7.4 6.9 6.2 5.7 4.7 4.0
Training/amount of experience 7.3 7.2 6.4 6.2 5.3 4.5
Innovation 7.4 7.0 6.2 5.8 4.5 3.9
Vendor reputation 8.0 7.5 7.2 6.6 6.2 5.3
Globally consistent operations 7.7 7.2 6.7 6.9 6.0 5.2
Adherence to internal standards 7.6 7.2 6.8 6.7 6.6 6.0
Operational/financial flexibility 7.7 7.2 6.9 6.1 6.2 5.2

Note: Scores based on a 1-10 scale, where 10 is extremely satisfied.

Data: InformationWeek Research Analyzing The Outsourcers study of 420 business technology professionals, June 2006

Illustration by John Sledd

Return to the story:
In Depth: Customers Analyze Outsourcing Vendors and Strategies

Editor's Choice
Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Nathan Eddy, Freelance Writer
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing