The world of outsourcing is a mysterious place anyway, full of bizarre practice, obscure (even obscurantist) jargon, and technology that is increasingly indistinguishable from magic - yet some parts of our shared folklore take this oddness to a whole new level of spookiness. Look beneath the surface and one finds a repository of strange tales of enigmatic events and curious characters that gives the Ancient Greeks a run for their money - and it's time Outsource took the plunge...
Like a huge minority of Britons I woke this morning deeply saddened by the news I had been dreading ever since the referendum on leaving the EU was announced: our four-decade-long participation in one of the most remarkable – and, perhaps, noble – political ventures in history will soon be coming to an end.
The issues and expectations of outsourcing users have changed dramatically. Ten years ago it was about scale and commercial reliability as users sought partners who could ‘guarantee’ service and delivery long-term. Now that picture has changed, as public and private sector users want partnerships that can make a real impact on both business and IT performance.
Most companies recognise outsourcing as an attractive way to efficiently complete software development projects, especially for companies that are experiencing skills gaps, time gaps or budget gaps. When this happens, outsourcing can be a viable solution - but only if the company trusts the vendor to protect proprietary code, follow through on promises, be accountable, and deliver quality work on time. But trust isn’t the only consideration when it comes to outsourcing software development.
Crisis is now an everyday occurrence, and is a risk that can be mitigated but never truly eliminated. In a world that seems to be increasingly prone to crises of every conceivable type, a recent survey from Deloitte – A Crisis of Confidence - finds a broad “vulnerability gap” between the awareness of threats and the preparations to actually handle them.
Throughout the last ten years of my career as part of Capgemini’s BPO unit I have seen digital innovation transform our personal lives exponentially in terms of smartphones, streaming services and access to real-time information updates. The natural consequence is that we now expect the same level of responsiveness, quality and dynamic interaction in our professional lives as we’ve become accustomed to outside of work. This has resulted in a plethora of changes in terms of what is expected from outsourced services
To read the first part of this interview, click here.
O: With all of that in mind, what are the implications for the global business services model? Where do you sit on global business services (GBS)? Are you a fan?
The transition period of bringing a new provider into an environment is critical to the success of an outsourcing initiative. An effective transition sets the stage for a long-term partnership, while a poorly managed one can damage the relationship beyond repair. Under the best of circumstances, managing the transition is no easy task. From the client’s perspective, the fundamental challenge is to keep up with the pace of change surrounding transfer of knowledge and resources and putting infrastructure and process in place.