Peter Dickinson is a partner at international law firm Mayer Brown and co-leads their global Technology Transactions practice; he's also a hugely respected thought leader and a regular contributor to Outsource, offering insight on a broad range of legal and technological issues. A perfect fit, in other words, for our Life Lessons series: take it away, Peter...
I was thinking of what I could say about the outsourcing market at the end of 2016. My initial thoughts were about how I feel that the term itself is dying out. Companies are much more likely to be exploring partnerships today.
Outsource got together with Alex at October's SIG Summit in California to hear his thoughts on how his organisation is reacting to current changes in the market landscape; the pros and cons of decentralisation; the importance of "China for China"; and why the automation revolution offers huge opportunities - and challenges...
Outsource: So, Alex, what are you guys up to at the moment?
The IT and tech sectors have long suffered from an epidemic of high turnover rates, shared by businesses that are great at acquiring, but terrible at retaining, these professionals. Prior research has found that factors such as low job satisfaction, poor organisational commitment and an abundance of alternative jobs on offer globally have contributed to an above-average rate of the movement of talent within these spheres.
A couple of months back, we published our Top Ten Outsourcing Acronyms – a piece that had been a long time brewing, after we’d initially put out a call for entries the previous year. Well, as seems frequently to be the case with this series, that publication prompted a flood of new submissions, and we’re delighted to be able now to unveil a hilarious – if somewhat potty-mouthed – sequel.
In this day and age, there is no organisation that does not require outsourcing governance as a part of its operations. It could be critical or a support function, but outsource they all do.
What is intended to be a seamless transition of work and, in some case, part responsibility, in fact, becomes fraught with challenges. What should’ve been an easing of the load for the outsourcing organisation becomes a point of stress and could even lead to lower productivity because of duplication of effort or lack of harmony.
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.
Thus far our quest for robotic process automation (RPA) enlightenment has focused on some of the personalities building this emerging industry – from software providers, outsourcers and implementers. Alex Nield is Head of Solution Design for Business Services at Direct Line Group (DLG), and he represents the most important constituency in RPA-land: the small but growing cadre of ‘RPA buyers’. These are the organisations that have actually turned to RPA to transform the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations. It is time for Live Wires to get real.