Our ancestors in India always told us that it was a sin to cross the oceans (and many in India do not cross oceans even today). There was something about globalisation that they just did not like and I have not been able to figure out what it is.
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?
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.
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.
Outsourcing the accounts payable (AP) function has many benefits, in particular enabling organisations to streamline essential operational processes and be more efficient. As with many outsourced functions, AP often requires expertise and technology that necessitate significant capital expenditure if they are to be made available in-house, whereas a third-party specialist will have up-to-date systems and a team of experts experienced in using them.
Risks versus benefits of outsourcing
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...
Open data – that is, publically available data that is free for all to use – is set to have a monumental impact on societies in the next five years. Whether it’s information regarding public transport, city policy or city infrastructures, open data enables public sector bodies, businesses and citizens to make more informed decisions about the things that really matter in their society.
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!