multisourcing (multi-sourcing)

Multisourcing (multi-sourcing) is an approach to outsourcing in which IT operations and technology infrastructure are contracted to a number of vendors, usually in combination with some internally provided elements of information technology. The multisourcing approach contrasts with fully in-house IT provisioning and sole-source outsourcing models.

The purpose is to maximize the effectiveness of an enterprise's IT by ensuring that various elements are sourced to the best possible providers, while allowing the enterprise to maintain its focus on core competencies. Multisourcing can aid enterprise risk management programs by diversifying risk in vendor operations. The practice can also promote competition among various providers, cut costs related to repetitive service contracts and improve quality, collaboration and innovation among a group of IT providers.

Often, a company’s IT vendor management office will oversee its multisourcing arrangements with input and guidance from its legal team, IT staff and other executive leadership. A good starting point is to select service-delivery providers with similar corporate cultures. In addition, organizations pursuing a multisourcing arrangement should craft strong internal corporate governance strategies with regard to IT vendor relationships and share the details with all of their service providers to promote better cooperation and more seamless delivery of services across organizational lines.


See also: nearshore outsourcing, onshore outsourcing, offshore outsourcing, business process outsourcing, e-outsourcing,

This was last updated in July 2011

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