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Will apps or chatbots determine the supply chain's future?

Posted: 04/25/2017 - 00:58

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.

Is procurement the key to unlocking innovation within organisations?

Posted: 04/22/2017 - 02:10

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.

Cognitive solutions: beware the black box and big promise

Posted: 04/13/2017 - 22:42

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.

Software-Defined Networking (SDN): the future of networking?

Posted: 04/13/2017 - 00:20

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.

How retailers can drive sustainable savings through strategic sourcing

Posted: 04/11/2017 - 23:42

Growing economic uncertainty has seen many businesses look to procurement for a means to increase savings and ultimately drive growth. This is especially true in the retail industry where common issues include mounting costs, struggling suppliers, increased competition and expanding supply chains. On top of this, savings must be achieved without affecting the quality of the end product or customer experience.

Life Lessons: Rick Sturge

Posted: 04/11/2017 - 03:51

Rick Sturge is EVP Business Development at Firstsource Solutions, with over two decades' experience in outsourcing and business transformation. We turned to Rick for the latest in our Life Lessons series - and received lessons aplenty...


What has been the single most significant development to impact your profession or area of business during your career, and why?

‘Long-termism’: as crucial in talent management as in wider business strategies

Posted: 04/07/2017 - 19:57

Commentators have long debated the extent to which ‘short-termism’ (the concentration on short-term objectives for immediate profits) in business impacts both individual organisations and the wider economy. According to recent research, however, companies deliver significantly improved results when leaders manage with long-term strategic goals in mind and resist pressure from investors to focus excessively on meeting short-term financial targets.

EU GDPR: Key actions you might still have time to take

Posted: 04/07/2017 - 19:55

In an effort to better protect its citizens’ data, the European Union will be implementing the General Data Protection Regulation – or GDPR – in May of 2018.

While we’re of the mindset that compliance isn’t always equal to security, compliance to the EU GDPR is definitely a step toward better user information privacy. Our advice: start thinking about May 2018 now. Here’s why.

Failure to comply results in more than just a slap on the wrist

Man and machine: the future awaits

Posted: 04/06/2017 - 03:05

Statistics are a lot of fun, and contentious too. Yet they permit us to remain fairly grounded. Let’s start with the obvious. From self-driving vehicles and semi-autonomous robots to intelligent algorithms and predictive analytical tools, machines are increasingly capable of performing a wide range of jobs that have long been human domains. A 2013 study by researchers at Oxford University posited that as many as 47% of all jobs in the United States are at risk of “computerisation”.

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