All major enterprises today are contracting with an increasing number of IT service providers which in turn are supplying ever more diverse services to the organisation. However, the results achieved are often not those that were expected—this is because there is much more to successful outsourcing than simply acquiring the right expertise or implementing the right individual service.

In the end, people and relationships are the key to the success or failure of an outsourced service. Yet all too often today, client-supplier relationships resemble an old-fashioned hierarchical superior-subordinate relationship: Onerous rules are imposed; consequences for any failure are harsh; very little true collaboration occurs; and the relationship tends to deteriorate over time, ending in a morass of mutual resentment rather than mutual benefit.