There seems to be an inflation of terms in the sourcing world. Multisourcing, Cloudsourcing, Crowdsourcing, Global Sourcing, Active Sourcing, Best Sourcing, Right Sourcing and many more. Why not iSourcing – follwing the „i“ philosophy of Apple?
According to the Apple keynote from 1998 (iMac launch) the „i“ stands for internet, individual, instruct, inform and inspire. Lets have a look:
Internet: Looking to the cloud world, the internet is a or the key element. More and more organiaztions look into leveraging cloud services within their IT value chain. And if not, they use the internet for their business and their operations as a source of information, a way to connect with partners for selling or buying. There is no way without the internet in today‘s sourcing world.
Individual: Individualism is a tough topic in the sourcing world. Organizations shift more and more responsibility to the end-user and the end-user itselft seeks for more individualism. The trend towards user-owned-devices is confirming this. On the other hand, there is a push to source much a high degree of standardization in IT as individualism ist costly. This means less individualism. „Yes and No“ is the answer to the question, if individualism is happening in the sourcing world.
Instruct: Is sourcing an instrument to instruct? Organiaztions need a lot of instruction and knowledge to source successfully and therefore sourcing without instruction is a bad thing. Many companies outsource their „instruction“ needs (training) for all kinds of activities.
Inform: Information is something that is sourced a lot around the globe. Organizations use free sources like wikipedia or sources like business information portals that charge for it. Controlling agencies buy satellite pictures from the net. Buinesses buy addresses for mass marketing activities. Companies buy information about the competitions. This list could continue for a couple of more pages.
Inspire: Is sourcing inspiring? For me as sourcing analyst it certainly is – but business use sourcing for value creation, problem resolution and innovation and not really for inspiration. It is a philosophical question if you could source the inspiration you need as a business and looking to that angle doesn‘t really help find the answer to the initial question.
All in all, internet, instruct and inform are full friends of the sourcing family. Individualism for 50% and just inspire doesn‘t really make it. So, „iSourcing“ based on the „i“ philosophy of Apple, matches today‘s sourcing to 70%.
The term iSourcing itself has been used already by many organizations (Google shows 6.270 hits and Bing 323). In there the „i“ often stands for innovation or international. So Trademark might be an issue – as always.