How Will Technology Impact Your Outsourcing Strategy?
Once a new technology rolls over you, if you're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road.” – Stewart Brand
In the “New Normal”, as you think about the impact of technology on your outsourcing strategy you need to factor in five significant trends:
1. Mobility - The rise of mobile phones as a dominant computing platform - that’s especially true in emerging markets where customers may not have a PC but probably have a mobile phone.
2. Device Independence - The liberation of data from the device - if you want access to information it’s increasingly not on your PC or your mobile phone it’s sitting in a data center somewhere.
3. Collaboration - The shift of IT from a productivity focus to communications & collaboration - not only with employees but also with partners and consumers through video, chat, blogging, social networking, webinars, etc.
4. Data - The steep increase in data creation - volume is doubling every 18 months with much of it being created outside of the firewall as unstructured data.
5. Analytics - The power of information - helping organizations seize competitive advantage by exploiting the data explosion.
All five trends point to the inevitability of the Cloud and Everything as a Service. In the past, outsourcing has largely been positioned as either a technology play (ITO) or labor arbitrage play (BPO). In the New Normal, these distinctions will blur as the 5 technology trends noted above, coupled with IT departments struggling to keep up with the workload, compel organizations to buy outsourced solutions delivered as a service - increasingly from a “Cloud” at Internet scale.
Let me give you a simple example of the potential change:
- Authentication is the process of verifying your identify. Every organization needs to authenticate - banks, telcos, airlines, hospitals, government agencies, etc. all need to know you are who you say you are. Typically, organizations hire agents to ask consumers questions to verify their identify – a long and arduous process.
- Fortunately, authentication can be streamlined and automated through technology but that means getting the CIO on board to buy a technology stack and adjust the list of priority projects. At the same time, CIOs in other organizations are also buying similar technology stacks – resulting in a lot of duplicated investment, limited scalability, poor consumer / citizen experience, etc.
- Rather than buying technology, why not outsource authentication by subscribing to an Authentication Service delivered from the Cloud? I’m being a little facetious but don’t you think at this point Google has enough information on everybody that with a few questions they could verify your identity?
- For a quick primer on cloud-based identity and access management, check out Cloud Identity Trends in 2011 by Sally Hudson of IDC.
In the New Normal, outsourcing suppliers will increasingly embed Cloud services into their BPO offerings to optimize end-to-end processes. Buyer organizations and consumers will both benefit from seamless, streamlined services.
How will Technology impact your outsourcing strategy?