CIO — "Happy families are all alike;" Leo Tolstoy wrote in Anna Karenina, "every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
One might be inclined to think the same is true for outsourcing -- the successful relationships share the same best practices while the failed arrangements are uniquely flawed. But, in fact, the most disappointing deals do share common characteristics.
Diane Carco, president of IT consultancy Swingtide, has been studying the facets of flawed deals for nearly two decades. Even as the state of IT outsourcing has matured, the same issues come up again and again in failing IT services relationships. "Mistakes are often repeated," says Carco, who had to terminate a $2 billion outsourcing deal when she was CIO of CNA Insurance in 1999. "Awareness of why things failed is not necessarily propagated into the next generation of management and the next deal."