Nearly two weeks after the UK’s vote to leave the European Union (the ‘Brexit’), very little has become clear in terms of what this means for the country and the EU itself – and the sourcing and outsourcing space in the region - and even how and when the exit process will take place. Obviously, such a momentous transition should not be rushed through over-hastily; however, uncertainty can have a paralysing economic and commercial impact and pressure is already mounting on the British government to begin the formal exit process.
Like a huge minority of Britons I woke this morning deeply saddened by the news I had been dreading ever since the referendum on leaving the EU was announced: our four-decade-long participation in one of the most remarkable – and, perhaps, noble – political ventures in history will soon be coming to an end.
Most companies recognise outsourcing as an attractive way to efficiently complete software development projects, especially for companies that are experiencing skills gaps, time gaps or budget gaps. When this happens, outsourcing can be a viable solution – but only if the company trusts the vendor to protect proprietary code, follow through on promises, be accountable, and deliver quality work on time. But trust isn’t the only consideration when it comes to outsourcing software development.
It was a rainy day in Goa, India and I had just got back to the hotel in the evening after meeting customers. As I walked through the corridor of the hotel I saw a lot of people from the Middle East sitting at the lounge and enjoying a drink as they chatted and gazed out over the Arabian Sea and the rains. I asked the lobby manager as to why so many people came in from the Middle East during monsoon times. He smiled and told me that his hotel marketed what they called “Monsoon Tourism”.
Once more, the validity of outsourcing in the public sector has been brought into question.
Just this week, the National Audit Office released a report on the UK government’s programme to transfer back-office functions to two shared services centres. The report outlines that although savings were made, so far to date, it has not achieved value for money.
The UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the MSA) now means that businesses’ supply chains need to be safer, more transparent, and more ethical. While it’s hard to argue that any of this is a bad thing, the development has left a few businesses in something of a panic.
2016 has presented the British labour market with some of the most worrying forecasts and challenging new laws the country has seen in a long time.
Halfway through March, George Osborne announced the Office for Budget Responsibility’s GDP growth forecast, which highlighted that the UK economy will grow more slowly in the next five years than previously expected. The reason? The OBR forecasts a rather worrying reduction in productivity.
Outsource: So, Eleanor, welcome on board – at last! You are of course already a well-known figure in the space – and more familiar now to the SIG audience following your appearance at last month’s SIG Summit in Florida – but for those few of our readers to whom you’re still an unknown quantity, could you give us a bit of background on who you are and your career thus far?
We’ve just published the latest Outsourcing Index from Information Services Group (ISG) (which measures commercial outsourcing contracts with an annual contract value (ACV) of €4 million or more), and found that the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region got off to a strong start in 2016, with double-digit growth in both contract value and volume, reaching €2.25 billion in the first quarter, an increase of 19 per cent over the same period in 2015.
As many of you know, in 2014 Outsource entered into a partnership with KPMG to produce the GBS Roadmap series of conferences focused on Global Business Services (GBS); these events (the first two of which took place last year in Stockholm and Amsterdam respectively) cater both to delegates looking to develop and implement a GBS strategy and to those already operating GBS who are now seeking ways to mature these established environments.