A panel discussion was recently hosted by the cloud services provider BMIT, which involved top professionals discussing about outsourcing as a tool for success. The panel members were Alan Alden of Kyte Consultants, Tonio Fenech of FFF Legal, Markus Golder of Go plc., Christian Sammut of BMIT and Ivan Refalo of Playmobil.
The discussion involved how companies view outsourcing industry currently and the potential that the process holds. It is primarily seen by companies as a way to achieve cost savings.
However, a mere cost-focused approach can pave way to the missing out of several opportunities for them to gain competitive edge in the market.
Over the last few years, outsourcing industry has become a key to providing better cost planning, knowledge enhancement and management.
In spite of the economic turmoil existing in the world economy, the industry continues to flourish. Norton Rose, a law firm in London Magic Circle, estimated in 2011 that outsourcing contracts worth $100 billion are being signed every year.
Advantages of Outsourcing
Outsourcing for competitive edge has a number of advantages such as having an organization of employees and their increased interactivity with the outside world, increasing the credibility with regulators and stakeholders etc.
As compared to a decade ago, when outsourcing was considered to be a risky undertaking, it has transformed into a mainstream strategy adopted over the length and breadth of the corporate world.
The decision by companies to outsource their work transcends economic considerations these days. Outsourcing helps companies focus more on their core business processes.
A major criterion that companies demand from outsourcing industry is the ability to adjust to the changing business needs and quality service delivery at the right time.
Outsourcing has become the ability to access expertise and knowledge by partnering rather than organic knowledge development and creation that used to be focused upon in the past.
Choosing an Outsourcing Partner
Successful outsourcing clients enumerate the best practices to be followed when opting for outsourcing. The surveys of such companies have proved that careful vendor selection, committing to a collaborative relationship management and judicious planning are essential factors to consider when choosing outsourcing partners.
Decision-makers should look to hire outsourced knowledge partner that has the capability to become one among the management team. Such a partner should take up ownership of the services or process outsourced to them and as such the accountability towards it. This should be accompanied by a deep understanding of the requirements of the company outsourcing work to them.
Outsourcing for a competitive edge should involve a philosophical transition where service providers transcend beyond being providers of cost efficiency to become those who serve as a partner to the companies outsourcing work to them.