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Six ways to go global

Choosing Bangalore over Brazil might be your first decision, but the right location means nothing without a smart offshore strategy.

LOS ANGELES -- Gartner Inc. vice president and research director Ian Marriott told attendees at this week's Gartner Outsourcing Summit that a new mandate has emerged for IT managers involved in outsourcing contracts.

Just as important as choosing a location for outsourcing is developing a vision for the project and setting a strict agenda that focuses on outcomes other than cost savings, Marriott said.

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Perhaps most important is communication, he stressed. Marriott's Sunday evening session on global sourcing offered six things companies must do to "get their ducks in a row, because organizing themselves and planning ahead are prerequisites to success."

Find an internal, executive sponsor.There are bound to be naysayers in every organization. Having an executive on your side to "kick down doors" will help keep people motivated and focused.

Establish a governance structure. Marriott suggests organizations create an offshore steering committee for strategic decisions, a project management office (PMO) for the day-to-day issues -- and appoint a Chief Resource Officer to guarantee the best mix of skills.

Identify the decision makers and stakeholders. Keep in mind that decision makers and stakeholders may not be the same people. Some will be against the project. A successful executive sponsor will keep all sides informed.

Make the journey across the shores.Travel, and take a look. Acting like a tourist for a little will help you understand the culture of the country.

Set employee policies. HR will need to know how many employees are going to be redeployed, transferred -- or let go.

Communicate clearly. Speaking with clarity to everyone involved is the most important factor.

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