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”.
Robotic process automation (RPA) is all the rage these days, and with good reason. Software bots that replicate the way humans perform repetitive, rule-based tasks are driving significant cost savings and productivity increases. For as little as $10,000 a year, an enterprise can implement and maintain a bot that performs the routine work of five to ten people. Moreover, RPA can deliver a wide range of business benefits such as improved data collection and accuracy, auditability and compliance.
There’s a new twist on March Madness, at least in the United Kingdom's IT services world, as the UK has officially triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty advancing Britain’s separation from the European Union. This blows open the future of the EU and, among the many other oft-discussed prognostications, challenges the whole basis of IT outsourcing services delivered between the UK and the EU.
Wow! Isn’t it amazing how quickly things change? In the early 2000s, the very pinnacle of outsourcing was Walmart. Walmart didn’t outsource its own operations. Instead, it made history by working with offshore suppliers, introducing American consumers to low-cost Chinese goods. Consumers fell in love with the low prices, and Walmart grew to 14,000 stores, becoming the biggest corporation in America.
Paul J. Zak is answering age-old questions about the evolutionary and scientific - actually neuroscientific - basis for identifying and establishing trust. For example, why do people trust each other in the first place? Is there a natural inclination to trust? Does location and/or ethnicity matter when it comes to trust? What does this mean for businesses and their employee relations?
Trust is at the root of all successful outsourcing partnerships. Without trust between all parties, commercial relationships can break down. And as I’m sure you know it’s far more expensive to get new business in the door or find new partners to work with; than it is to keep the status quo.
So how can outsourcers build and maintain trust? I may be biased but I firmly believe that the availability of technology that provides round the clock oversight is the answer.
Recent stories by, amongst others, the BBC detailing large, well-organised and presumably very profitable scamming organisations targeting UK TalkTalk customers have hardly helped the already-lowly reputation of offshore contact centres - but may unfortunately be only the tip of a perilous iceberg.