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.
Today many organizations still struggle to simplify their application landscape. CIOs leverage Software as a Service (SaaS) as a catalyst for application rationalization. First, SaaS functionality is well documented. There is no decision-making ambiguity regarding the match of SaaS functionality and the business requirements. Second, SaaS data migration effort is minimal.
Procurement organizations have been using reverse auctions in sourcing events for decades as a means to reduce spend, introduce new vendors into the supply base and remain competitive in the market. While reverse auctions have flourished since the mid 1990’s, they have also been heavily scrutinized. Trends such as these have forced suppliers to adapt to competitive business practices or become inconsequential. As procurement tools become more streamlined, practices like reverse auctions are more commonplace in sourcing events; however, they continue to harbor negative connotations.
Wherever you look and whoever you talk to, we’re all being told the same thing – we’re facing a major talent shortage. This isn’t helped by an ever-increasing skills gap meaning, from an employer point-of-view, the graduate market is as competitive as it has ever been.