Next up in my series of columns about the great academic thought leaders who were seminal in the development and success of modern outsourcing are two of my favorite game theorists: the mathematician and Nobel laureate John F. Nash, who took economists a step or two beyond Adam Smith with his ideas on game theory and the art of collaborating, or playing together nice, for the win-win; and Robert Axelrod, who verified the beauty of cooperation through his early work with computers to solve a classic game theory behavioral experiment.
Education is the great equalizer. Yet when it comes to capturing opportunities to learn, there is a significant divide between the “haves” and “have nots.” Technology is a powerful tool that can change this, and non-profit organizations across the country are beginning to leverage it to bridge the gap.
Fueling Innovation and Choice
Avery W. Katz, professor of law at Columbia Law School, tackles the conundrum of “incomplete” contracts. The challenge? How organizations can fashion a contract that is both economically flexible enough for a business relationship to move forward efficiently and legally secure enough to satisfy the parties’ legal departments.
Offshoring and outsourcing don’t exist in a vacuum. These are processes that take advantage of and are influenced by technology, politics and the larger economy. Look at the last big round of offshoring at the start of the century. It didn’t just “happen” without any reason. Very specific changes facilitated this age of outsourcing.
Ever since humans began using robots to tackle tasks, there have been naysayers predicting everything from all human jobs being written off by 2020, to complete world domination by a race of self-aware machine overlords.
The entire source-to-pay spectrum in procurement stares at the eventuality named automation. With automation having the potential to lower procurement costs, generate greater savings and render greater value, its aggressive foray into the source-to-pay spectrum remains only a matter of time.
An evil cyber force reared its ugly head (yet again) to launch an unprecedented ransomware pandemic in mid-May 2017. The severity of the cyberattack – 10,000 organizations and 200,000 individuals were impacted in over 150 countries causing billions in financial losses – was a staggering demonstration of the under-preparedness shown by enterprise IT security teams to tackle issues related to cybersecurity.
Today’s outsourcers and shared services operations are expected to deliver not just cost savings, but also innovation, agility, quality and growth. At the same time the bar has been raised when it comes to expectations with customers having lower tolerance for mistakes, delays or poor service. In fact, Gartner rates customer experience at the top of CEOs’ priorities for 2017. It is the ability for organisations to respond and adapt quickly to both customer requests and changing market circumstances that can provide that key point of differentiation.
Herbert Simon explored the intersection of philosophy, science, politics, economics and a range of other fields and called into question the traditional idea that “economic man” acts rationally. Simon, who was a long-time professor at Carnegie Mellon University, received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1978. Simon’s diverse research ranged across the fields of cognitive psychology, cognitive science, computer science, economics, management, philosophy of science, sociology, and political science; he helped lay the foundation for behavioral economists around the world. He died in 2001.