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.
John Sculley is the former CEO of both Apple and Pepsi-Cola, and the current Chairman of PeopleTicker; he’s also a member of the Sourcing Industry Group (SIG) Advisory Board. Outsource was lucky enough to catch up with John at the SIG Summit in Carlsbad, California, and to get treated to some remarkable insight from one of the sharpest minds in business…
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.
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.
Sourcing and procurement (S&P) leaders continue to reference efficiency, effectiveness and continuous improvement of operations as a high priority. Most will admit that continuous optimisation is not a destination, rather a journey that has become increasingly complex. Today, an agile S&P organisation that effectively aligns with the needs of the business is critical to establish. S&P organisations want to embrace accelerated decision-making, improve productivity and spend visibility, and implement tighter controls for supplier performance.
Just when multi-supplier (also known as SIAM) contracting is starting to get under control, DevOps emerges. This article looks at the interaction of the two for the design of retained and sourced IT operations. The implications for service contracts are profound and largely un-tested.
Outsourcing has always been a key component of the technology sector; however recently it has been not just basic IT services, but key CIO roles taken on by outsiders. The term ‘virtual CIO’ (vCIO) is gaining increasing momentum, and refers to an individual or service that is charged at an hourly or flat rate fee for the provision of services that incorporate technology and business strategy. vCIOs are particularly popular with small and mid-sized businesses, because they make the strategic guidance of an expert affordable.
Business services are usually at the core of organisational endeavours, structured to build and manage a variety of workflows and dependencies in a concerted manner. The end goal for all such services is the smooth functioning of an organisation, built around some strategic goals usually manifested in revenues, growth, competitiveness and shareholder value. Over the course of more than two centuries, industrial advancements – enabled through scientific and technological innovations – have assisted with building and sustaining complex workflows, products and services.