Mary Lacity’s and Leslie Willcocks’ joint research in progressive outsourcing approaches has helped companies navigating modern outsourcing for over two decades.
The rise of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is nothing short of spectacular. It has captivated the attention of digital operations executives with the promise of cost-savings beyond labor arbitrage, cost avoidance by extending the life of legacy IT, quicker implementation than traditional IT projects, business-user friendliness, auditability and compliance, straight through processing, and let’s be honest – terrific marketing.
There was a time, not so long ago, when work was more of a place we went as opposed to a thing we did. Until recently, work-life balance wasn’t an aspiration, but instead, something most workers could more or less take for granted.
There existed an unspoken, unseen and ubiquitous wall separating the personal and the professional, with a distinct divide existing between our work lives and our home lives. Work began – and ended – at the factory floor or the office doors.
Whether you crossed the automation chasm early, or are just starting your journey into digital service delivery, you’re not alone if you’ve got questions surrounding technical ecosystem choices. Generating ROI—and how exactly to go about proving the value of numerous small automation projects versus one giant re-platforming initiative—is a common challenge.
Open vs. Closed Ecosystems
When the Internet arrived, we said, “The world is no longer flat! This changes everything!” Then we went back to building centralized systems – something we still do today. Examples of centralized systems are our ERPs, enterprise payment systems and government platforms. Recent commercial examples include Google, Facebook and Uber.
Let’s face it – many people believe governance is boring. It’s all about compliance, following arcane rules and paying attention to details. There is nothing transformational, customer-experiential or disruptive about it.
Making the switch to outsourced strategic procurement is not as simple as handing tasks and responsibilities to a third party. It requires wholesale change that starts from within. Someone in procurement needs to lead that change, and it may or may not be the CPO. What procurement needs to do is to find the catalysts in their midst.
In my nearly three decades focusing on various areas of supply chains – from early years studying global trade and commerce, to witnessing today’s real impact on human lives, environment and climate change – there has been one constant: The measurement of sourcing success continues to be dictated by cost savings alone. We fail to acknowledge one critical element in these perceived “savings,” and that is they have a lifespan – and it’s a short one.
Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) is all the rage and for a good reason. Far too many “strategic” contracts have been developed (especially outsourcing contracts) that do not include sound SRM practices.
It’s good to see that virtually all of the major advisory firms are now incorporating solid governance frameworks into their contracts. Software companies are also making inroads, such as Old St Labs and SirionLabs