From customer-facing artificial intelligence systems, to cloud-based applications that have created the digital gig economy, or mobile-based banking systems that facilitate fast payments, in recent years a number of industry sectors have been challenged by the development of digital and data-based technologies by start–ups. These technologies promise to transform every organisation's relationship with its customers and introduce unprecedented levels of efficiency within its business.
As Brexit slowly begins to become a reality, there are worrying signs that British businesses are cancelling vital data protection reforms - in the mistaken hope that rules will change once the UK has left Europe.
The notion of healthcare quality being measured only based on the level of medical care given to patients is on its way to a complete disappearance. From our position in the healthcare contact centre space, we have been witnessing more and more organisations focusing on the patient experience to gain and maintain a competitive advantage. This evolution toward value-based service benefits the patient, the healthcare provider and the payer. Value-based models encourage healthcare providers to deliver the best care at the lowest cost.
A 2012 report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that nearly 21 million people worldwide are victims of forced labour, with the highest concentrations found in countries in central and southeastern Europe and in Africa. With complex global supply chains the main vehicle of global trade and commerce, regulators face a stiff challenge policing against workplace abuse, especially given the pattern of outsourcing production to jurisdictions where labour standards and their enforcement are weaker than at home.
The 'gig economy’ is a term that is hard to avoid nowadays. But what is it exactly and what does it mean for the outsourcing professional?
Businesses have never faced such complex political, economic, social and digital forces as they do today. For example:
Over in Silicon Valley, the latest battle for technological dominance is on. On the one hand, you have apps. Apps have been with us for nearly ten years, but 2016 marked the first year that mobile internet use overtook desktop internet use. This trend, which shows no sign of slowing down, puts apps on the front page of the internet — so to speak.
Depending on your business sector, the department you work in or your job function, innovation means different things to different people. Procurement professionals may view innovation as a long-term strategy, given the tremendous potential for delivering efficiencies and cost savings over time, while other business functions may see it differently. Their interest might be focused on enhancing performance and processes, delivering slicker workflows or increased speed to market.
In a maturing market, buyers are becoming increasingly aware that the umbrella term “intelligent automation” comprises a broad spectrum of functionality, ranging from teachable bots that execute repeatable and scripted tasks, to more advanced cognitive tools that apply pattern recognition and language processing capabilities to analyse data, make decisions and learn from experience.
Over the past two decades, networking has been severely limited: it simply could not keep up with new demands from businesses in an increasingly digital world. However, that is all about to change thanks to the creation of software-defined networking, or SDN. Part of an ongoing wave of “virtualisation” in the IT industry, SDN allows people (particularly businesses with large IT systems) to control network behaviour through a handy piece of software, instead of having to go into the network infrastructure and alter things manually.