Offshoring and outsourcing don’t exist in a vacuum. These are processes that take advantage of and are influenced by technology, politics and the larger economy. Look at the last big round of offshoring at the start of the century. It didn’t just “happen” without any reason. Very specific changes facilitated this age of outsourcing.
Recent stories by, amongst others, the BBC detailing large, well-organised and presumably very profitable scamming organisations targeting UK TalkTalk customers have hardly helped the already-lowly reputation of offshore contact centres - but may unfortunately be only the tip of a perilous iceberg.
In a multi-partner service delivery model, transparency and visibility are essential to an effective security and supplier risk management (SRM) strategy. Yet a wide range of evidence suggests that this transparency is sorely lacking in many cases. According to a study by the independent Ponemon Institute, 73 per cent of suppliers that experience a data breach don’t notify other vendors in the supply chain, while more than a third (37 per cent) of suppliers don’t notify their customers.
Emerging technology services have revolutionised the sourcing industry. These disruptive technologies like autonomics, interface technologies, big data analytics and other computing technologies have permitted smaller companies to successfully challenge established incumbent businesses. Specifically, as incumbents focus on improving their products and services for their most demanding (and usually most profitable) customers, they may exceed the needs of some segments and ignore the needs of others.
Cloud has been both an exciting and disruptive force in the technology market for the last decade. It has acted as a critical enabler for a host of other influential technologies and this will continue and accelerate in 2017.
Compliance – complexity and uncertainty drives the need for flexible, adaptive strategies
Earlier this year, Outsource editor Jamie Liddell had the privilege of chairing a roundtable dinner hosted by Capgemini, and attended by some of the most prominent advisors in the UK outsourcing community. The evening saw a huge variety of topics covered - but took place under Chatham House Rules, meaning that the conversation did not take place "on the record".
Only imagination limits the opportunities available from our rapidly connected world. It’s hard to think of a household product or work device that could not have some benefit from being connected to another application via the internet of things (IoT), which adapts based on data from another source. Unsurprisingly, Gartner identified that the number-one strategic technology trend for 2016 would be the so-called device mesh: the ever-expanding set of end points that people can use to find information and communicate online.
Budgeting for IT has always been an uphill battle, with the boardroom tending to try and cut back on spending whenever possible, despite a driving desire for the competitive advantage strong tech investment brings. This is especially true for cybersecurity, which has always been hobbled by the difficulty in proving its day-to-day value. It’s only when an attempted attack occurs that the value of security investment overtakes the “it won’t happen to us” mentality.
The data and cyber regulatory regime in the EU – which includes, for the time being at least, the UK – is undergoing a very significant shake-up. The new General Data Protection Regulation which will come into force on 25 May 2018 will bring a number of new measures into play such as much increased fines (up to the higher of 4% of annual worldwide turnover or 20 million euros, in some cases) and mandatory reporting of most data security breaches.
Cyber-attacks have topped the list of biggest threats to business for the second year in a row, followed closely by data threats and an unexpected IT/telecoms outage – according to the fifth annual Horizon Scan Report published by the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) in association with BSI (British Standards Institution).
As supply chains become increasingly complex, identifying the legal risks inherent in managing such a widely dispersed network of suppliers, manufacturers and other trading partners is key to spotting issues and being able to solve them as soon as possible. Global supply chains come under threat from a wide range of risks including natural disasters, financial crisis, strikes, and, perhaps a most prominent concern of late, cybercrime and terrorism.