A recent post, and some back and forth commentary, about the controversial “Black Book on Outsourcing” triggered this long letter from the CEO at Datamonitor Mark Meek, submitted a few minutes ago.
TEXT OF LETTER:
As CEO of the Datamonitor Group, I wanted to address some of the points raised in the article. The strategic vision behind Datamonitor’s acquisition of The Black Book of Outsourcing in mid 2009 is to create a world-class (out)sourcing research business that brings together the following:
Outsourcing-specific end-user primary research (through The Black Book survey);
Sourcing-specific analysis and bespoke consulting (through Orbys, a Datamonitor company);
Insight and analysis into the application of outsourcing within vertical markets (through Datamonitor’s vertical research businesses).
2010 will see significant investment in each of the above-listed lines of business in order to create an outsourcing research business that can effectively serve the information needs of both the vendor and the end-user community. For The Black Book of Outsourcing, whilst Datamonitor believes that the fundamentals of the business are sound, we are aware that there is work to be done to improve the business and to that end we will be implementing the following for the 2010 Black Book of Outsourcing survey:
– Datamonitor’s core focus will be to improve the methodology and the transparency of the survey and we will be engaging with key vendors to better understand the improvements they would like to see in the 2010 survey;
– The survey will be managed and run in-house by Datamonitor’s own survey experts and not by historic members of the Black Book research team. This will ensure that Datamonitor’s research best-practices are fully applied to The Black Book of Outsourcing;
– Datamonitor will enhance the survey questions so that they are more statistically robust but at the same time maintaining a core consistency for continuity;
– We will introduce additional survey questions in order to cover topical issues such as Sustainability;
– We plan to increase the overall number of survey respondents with a particular focus on increasing geographic spread;
– We will use Datamonitor analysts to interpret the survey results and provide objective opinion on a sourcing, technical and industry level;
– We will check and balance The Black Book of Outsourcing survey results with the experience of Orbys consultants in order to provide a more holistic view of vendor performance.
Whilst Datamonitor has aggressive plans for enhancing The Black Book of Outsourcing’s research output, the survey will continue to rank vendors (and countries) based upon the results of the end-user survey. As such, we may never be able to persuade all poorly-ranked vendors from attempting to encourage their clients to ignore Black Book of Outsourcing vendor rankings. We do, nonetheless, hope that more of them will take note of the survey results in order to enhance the level of service that they are providing to the clients.