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.
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.
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.
Ever since the 2016 elections, America’s outsourced manufacturing has consistently been front-page news. Now news stories are shifting towards the larger world of foreign imports, rather than just outsourcing. That means new policies and taxes that will impact, well, just about everything! That means all consumer goods, cars, electronics and a lot more. But what about... cartoons? Yeah… what about the Saturday morning ghetto, Hanna-Barbera, The Simpsons, and the Cartoon Network?
As regulations and consumer pressures shift and organisations are increasingly exposed to risk – reputational and beyond – the procurement industry faces a critical juncture. This dynamic has created a business environment where sustainable procurement programs are no longer just nice to have, but an integral organisational function that is responsible for protecting and improving brand reputation, driving revenue and mitigating business risk.
Over the last two decades I have had the opportunity to work with some of the largest (as well as mid-sized) enterprises who had outsourced their IT work to offshore based teams. The offshore teams themselves were either part of service providers who were domestic companies out of North America/Europe, or part of providers who were headquartered out of India (with largely a sales presence in North America/Europe).
Most businesses like to blame failed or protracted negotiations on an inability to reach agreement on the financials, contract terms, legal issues or some other business measure - but after 30 + years of contract negotiations experience, I’ve rarely seen a deal lost on these items. Negotiations are far more likely to falter due to lack of trust, or due to a weak relationship amongst the parties.