Over the past two decades, networking has been severely limited: it simply could not keep up with new demands from businesses in an increasingly digital world. However, that is all about to change thanks to the creation of software-defined networking, or SDN. Part of an ongoing wave of “virtualisation” in the IT industry, SDN allows people (particularly businesses with large IT systems) to control network behaviour through a handy piece of software, instead of having to go into the network infrastructure and alter things manually.
Trust is at the root of all successful outsourcing partnerships. Without trust between all parties, commercial relationships can break down. And as I’m sure you know it’s far more expensive to get new business in the door or find new partners to work with; than it is to keep the status quo.
So how can outsourcers build and maintain trust? I may be biased but I firmly believe that the availability of technology that provides round the clock oversight is the answer.
In today’s business climate, it is innovation levels coupled with speed to market that will determine a company’s success. This was one of the reasons why, in 2016, we saw more interest in trends around optimising business processes – from automation to the as-a-service ecosystem. Businesses are looking to make the most not just of their employed staff, but also of their technology and the pure raw data that they hold.
Congratulations! It’s been three years since you decided to outsource accounts payable. Or, accounts receivable, or customer care, or payroll, or HR, or procurement, or any one of a dozen business process functions typically outsourced, in part or in full. You’ve finally stabilised operations, established consistent market standard processes, addressed the fears from the field, started realising those projected savings, and convinced IT that it is possible to improve response time without creating a horrific security breach.
By virtue of the risk adverse nature of the insurance sector, the sector has not been considered to be at the vanguard in terms of the adoption of new technologies.
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
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...
I remember attending the first technology business management (TBM) conference in 2012. Back then, the concept of this new data-driven framework, which would help measure and manage IT budgets, consumption and value, was new and exciting. Speakers and delegates talked at length about how TBM would respond to the need for financial transparency, deliver data that could drive decision-making at the highest levels, and unpack the consequences of decisions made in the past.