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Global sourcing trends in 2008

Jon Edgell (Partner, Morrison & Foerster, Citypoint, London, UK)
Gabriel E. Meister (Partner, Morrison & Foerster LLP, New York, USA, and)
Nigel Stamp (Partner, Morrison & Foerster, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China)

Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1753-8297

Article publication date: 6 June 2008




The purpose of this paper is to collate Morrison & Foerster's view on the state of the global outsourcing market and their lawyers' experience with a wide range of sourcing projects in a number of geographic and sectoral markets.


The global sourcing trends 2008 report is co‐authored by Morrison & Foerster partners based in Europe, the USA and Asia and edited by the Chair of Morrison & Foerster's Global Sourcing Group. Initially, colleagues in the Global Sourcing Group were surveyed and this team of more than 60 lawyers in the firm's offices around the globe were asked for their observations over the last 12 months, and predictions for the coming months, based on advising on a wide range of sourcing projects in a number of geographic and sectoral markets. Soundings were taken from more than 50 clients from a client base which includes Fortune 100 companies, some of the world's largest financial institutions; public sector organizations; outsourcing service providers; and a range of corporates from diverse industry sectors including media, travel and logistics, insurance, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, and IT. Other advisors in the sector were spoken to also, including many of the leading outsourcing consultancies. Results of this informal survey were then compared with the annual sourcing reports the firm had produced at the start of 2006 and 2007.


The report finds: an economic slowdown will see a move back towards cost‐driven outsourcing – despite the fact that, over the long term, service‐driven or value‐driven deals tend to deliver more stable, successful relationships. Greater emphasis is seen on post‐signature support, governance, supplier management, and the role of the retained function. As the pharma industry sharpens its focus on the core competencies needed to sustain its pipeline of new drug candidates, increased pharmaceutical outsourcing in 2008 and thereafter is expected to be seen. As all companies seek to reduce their corporate carbon footprint, a greater take up of outsourced services that deliver “Green IT” is expected.


This paper provides a summary of global sourcing trends in 2008, comment on the state of the outsourcing market and some trends to watch out for in 2008.



Edgell, J., Meister, G.E. and Stamp, N. (2008), "Global sourcing trends in 2008", Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 173-180.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Authors

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