Regular readers will know that each month I publish a column waxing lyrical about that month’s Outsource Talks webinar (typically a passionate, exuberant piece written from the heart, as I genuinely greatly enjoy hosting these “talkshow”-type events and, along with the audience, tend to learn a great deal from my invariably superlative panellists) and will probably have noticed the absence in November of such a column.
The Register likes to put the boot in when they comment on IT stories, so it was no surprise to see a recent feature about Fujitsu in which The Register summarised that Fujitsu needs to "get a move on" if they are going to transform their business to meet the expectations of customers today.
Recently I attended the Brexit & Global Expansion Summit in London, an event that brought together politicians, businesses and investors for discussions on the investment implications of Britain’s tectonic decision to leave the EU.
One of the sectors we discussed in depth was offshoring and outsourcing. No one has a crystal ball, but what is clear is that Brexit has challenged so many fundamental economic assumptions about the value proposition for a British business operating a customer service centre in the UK.
When the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee released its 'Robots and Artificial Intelligence' report last month, it was a much-needed shot of adrenaline, encouraging the government to take seriously the impact of robotics and artificial intelligence on the future UK workforce. However, what was not clear was the focus companies should take in order to be on the upside of the jobs outlook in an increasingly automated world.
To summarise the report:
Nearshoring as a way to outsource critical business processes and product development is nothing new to key markets such as software engineering, yet emerging technology, market trends and government mandates are sparking a renewed interest in it as a means to cut costs, enable greater collaboration and provide a competitive edge.
Piotr Zygula is the President and CEO of JCommerce SA, a Polish IT outsourcing provider specialising in custom software development. He's also, now, the latest participant in our Life Lessons interview series: Q&As featuring set questions designed to showcase learnings from the careers of sourcing and outsourcing professionals from around the world and across the space. Everyone ready to learn? Then let's proceed...
The world is growing increasingly complex. As such, agile capabilities and the ability to quickly adapt to changes in global environments are becoming more and more important. Events like the rise of extremist terror organisations and the dissemination of technology across the world have significantly changed the way in which enterprises interact. Businesses are quickly waking up to the rising demands placed upon them by this new international marketplace. However, too often changes caused by worldwide events catch organisations off guard.
Not too long back, many global IT service providers were known to move delivery of IT services of their clients to offshore locations (like South Africa, Latin America or India) without informing their clients. This was seen as an internal lever to make customer contracts more profitable in a multi-year deal as services were first stabilised in a high-cost onshore delivery location before being shipped to an offshore location.
For years, the outsourcing world has been buzzing about reshoring (or "backshoring"), taking the jobs we sent offshore years ago and bringing them back to the US and Europe. Low wages, cheap property, and favourable taxes made offshore manufacturing very attractive. But in recent years property values rose, staff turnover increased, and wages just keep heading up. Despite weakening economics, offshore still made sense. Until today!
I visited Cape Town and Durban recently as a guest of BPESA (Business Process Enabling South Africa) and attended the South Africa BPM Summit 2016. The summit featured local business leaders, industry influencers, and politicians eager to create jobs in South Africa by riding the wave of business process outsourcing (BPO).