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!
The first driverless cars in the UK are now being tested on the streets. “Cognitive robot” Amelia is proving to be a more popular service interface with residents of the London Borough of Enfield than her human predecessors. Technology that was once the preserve of science fiction is now becoming a daily reality. The future is here, ahead of time.
Large organisations face very similar IT challenges. Regardless of industry, they need to continually innovate, increase profits, decrease costs and drive efficiencies throughout their operations.
Considering that as much as 80 per cent of an organisation’s IT spend goes towards maintaining systems and infrastructure, it’s no surprise that many business leaders are looking to migrate their IT foundations to more functional, up-to-date technologies.
I always love hosting our Outsource Talks webinars – but today’s was even more enjoyable than usual, featuring as it did three remarkable professionals gathered together in the same place, rather than dialling in as is customary. Having Morgan Lewis’ Ed Hansen, Ivalua’s Gary Malhotra and Outsource columnist Thom Mead round a table here at the SIG Summit in California was a unique pleasure, generating as it did a delightful degree of interaction alongside the anticipated thought leadership.
Hard to believe half a year has gone by so quickly, but Outsource finds itself once again at a SIG Summit – taking place this time round in delightful (though, today, surprisingly drizzly) Carlsbad, California.
Every pilot/flight trainee knows the importance of trusting what the plane’s cockpit instruments are telling them. With very rare exception, the cockpit’s instruments don’t lie. What’s happening to the plane can be counter-intuitive to what your human senses are telling you. I can recall several instances in my flight training when I had to fight my senses (and fear) and rely on the data in the cockpit as my only gauge of what was actually happening and what I needed to do to get the plane to back to straight and level flight.
Procurement today is a different game. Once viewed as a back-office task, it has emerged as a key differentiator and driver of business value. And to execute it well requires totally new ways of thinking and acting.
Best-in-class organisations understand this. And they are tapping technology, big data and digital networks to fuel a simple, more collaborative source-to-pay process that is changing the game.
Moving Beyond Savings
Since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, the global supply chain hasn’t really changed all that much. Products are made from raw materials in factories, shipped off somewhere else (either by land or sea), stored in a warehouse, and then distributed to retailers. Beyond a few small differences, this is more or less the way most people have acquired their stuff for nearly two hundred years.
Earlier today, I had the great pleasure of hosting the seventh episode of Outsource Talks, our webinar series – for those of you not yet familiar with this especially marvellous project - that brings the time-honoured talkshow model to the international sourcing, outsourcing and business transformation community.
Earlier this year, Outsource editor Jamie Liddell chaired an advisor roundtable hosted by Capgemini, during which key themes emerged which were subsequently explored further by several of the roundtable guests in our recent two-part article 'A Dizz