My First Two Months At Forrester Have Been Enlightening

I joined Forrester two months ago as a senior analyst on the tech and innovation research team. Through my research, I help tech executives create sustainable sourcing strategies, nurture better supplier relationships, and get better outcomes from their strategic investments in tech services. My research builds on over 25 years of practical experience in managing strategic sourcing and provider relationships with leading firms on the user and vendor side. You can find my Forrester biography here.

I have been living in Germany for the past 15 years and am based in Frankfurt. I am married and have three daughters. And I am sure you guessed it already from my surname: Yes, I hail from India; I grew up in a small town in a southern state in India.

If I were to describe my experience of working at Forrester so far in one word, it would be “enlightening.” The company maintains a truly collaborative culture. Over the past two months, I have met a lot of bright minds and have always been enriched from these interactions. I have also talked to many of our enterprise clients as well as high-tech vendors in my new role and enjoyed listening to their TOMA (top-of-mind-awareness) topics.

Sourcing And Vendor Management Undergoes Continual Change

There are many buzzwords currently associated with sourcing and vendor management (SVM): innovation, cocreation, disruptive procurement, business outcomes, AI-driven source-to-pay tools, collaboration, platforms, agility, creativity, resilience, etc. But there is one common denominator that currently stands out across all the discussions I have with clients: How can we sustainably increase the level of stakeholder value across the entire SVM ecosystem? This becomes more evident as:

  • SVM cuts across many different domains. The SVM as a practice is undergoing significant change with most corporations. As a business function, it increasingly cuts across many different business domains and buying priorities for tech execs. And to drive faster innovation and change, CEOs at leading firms regularly invite their SVM heads into the boardroom.
  • SVM becomes more strategic. In most firms, the SVM function reports into the CFO. But in times of uncertainty and continual change, CFOs and their finance function, per se, are also pivoting to act more strategically, placing emphasis on strategic outcomes, such as customer retention and acquisition.
  • Customer obsession is key. You read it right: Customer obsession becomes a strategic notion for every business function, including SVM. Raw ambition combined with grit and a sharp attention to customer value creation is the mantra for a successful SVM function.

Sneak Peak At My Future Research

I am currently researching several trends in the broader SVM space that include strategic sourcing and technology services.

One report that I am currently writing aims to help tech execs rework their sourcing strategy. It touches upon inter alia, strong strategic partnerships that form the foundation of what Forrester calls future fit sourcing strategies. I will discuss how business capabilities and outcomes are replacing traditional cost-focused category strategies.

I am also working on a sourcing maturity assessment tool for enterprises that should help tech execs to realign their sourcing capabilities in a more sustainable way. Another idea that I am researching is (still early days) how SVM tools can help firms improve their environmental, social, and governance performance. I am also preparing some general research around technology outsourcing trends and offshore/nearshore outsourcing trends in Europe more particularly. And there are more ideas in the making. So, stay tuned.

I don’t know who said this, but it’s true: “When customers feel the love, they come back for more and bring their friends.” I am looking forward to working with all of you to cocreate that client stickiness. Whatever strategy we’ve chalked out, we need passion and hard work, honesty and candor, and persuasion and authority combined with humbleness and boldness to become successful.

Have a great start to the new year. I also hope to meet many of you in person in 2022!