A similar approach should be taken to IT services contracts, Roehrig said. "If you're asking for the highest levels of service, you're going to be paying top dollar, when the reality is that the enterprise can function just fine with not everyone having gold-plated service."
Companies should also try to get more value out of outsourcing in general through strategic hiring, he said. "If I had money as a client to invest in one thing ... I would get someone who really knows how to manage a service provider. Some of the best outsourcing deals I've come up against have really good people who know how to get a service provider to do what you want."
Customers should also seek to lower the total number of service providers they contract with, leading the way to bigger volume discounts, Roehrig said. But he noted that this can be difficult for heavily federated organizations to accomplish.
It's also possible to save money by actually helping one's vendor cut costs, according to Jones.
If four divisions within a company are negotiating separately with a vendor, they should consider consolidating those relationships, he said: "I would go to the vendor and say, how can I earn cost reductions by dealing with you in a centralized fashion?"