Software developer EquaTerra has partnered with Microsoft to launch an IT workplace governance platform.
EquaTerra made the decision to develop the Governance WorkPlace tool after seeing an increase in sourcing activity and the subsequent need to manage service providers and contracts effectively.
The firm said that a significant number of its users were looking to improve their sourcing governance processes.
EquaTerra believes it can reduce the cost to manage an outsourced relationship by one per cent of the annual contract value.
Most organisations' outsourcing governance budgets are between four and seven per cent of the annual value of the contract, and Governance WorkPlace can reduce these costs by approximately 20 per cent, the company said.
"We find that clients have developed multiple spreadsheet systems for each individual outsourcing relationship for verifying, managing, monitoring and reporting that are not automated or scalable," said EquaTerra managing director Mike Beals.
"Organisations are spending a lot of money and time becoming spreadsheet jockeys rather than making business decisions, especially during the early months of the relationship when critical issues need timely resolution."
Governance WorkPlace claims to provide large firms with an enterprise-wide management view of all internal business processes, enabling managers to proactively govern either shared services or outsourcing.
The tool is built on Microsoft's Business Intelligence platform and has been designed to support the management of complex governance issues, provide people with information and streamline processes.
"Given our work with clients, it is apparent that C-level executives are having a difficult time obtaining visibility into what is going on globally," said Beals.
"That lack of visibility and control puts organisations at risk financially as well as legally, in instances where there is not consistency and clear oversight in the governance of relationships."
EquaTerra's latest Service Provider Performance Study suggests that nearly half of senior managers see their sourcing governance skills as 'weak to average'.
Additionally, 85 per cent of study participants plan to spend less than seven per cent of their overall budget on IT governance, despite many of these same respondents indicating that they wished to outsource more.
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