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.
Last week I had the great and highly enjoyable privilege of hosting a webinar given by Jeff Seabloom, Alsbridge’s Chief Revenue Officer, entitled ‘A 360-Degree View of IT: Six Key Questions’.
Over the last month, British businesses have been bombarded with other people’s opinions. In the outsourcing industry, this is quite normal: everyone and their dog has a strong opinion on how outsourcing companies should and shouldn’t operate. But this time, we’re being told that our businesses are on the line because of a vote. I’ve worked with outsourcing companies worldwide, and if there’s one thing I know about their culture it’s that they are very comfortable with change. And they don’t scare easily.
The Commercial Court ruling in BT Cornwall Limited v Cornwall Council and Others is a sharp reminder that if an outsourced service provider does not provide the service it has promised to provide, to the standard it has promised, it should not expect the customer to allow the contract, however large and multi-faceted, to continue. Put another way, the customer is almost always right.