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Blog for December 2011

Reinventing the Workforce – Outsourcing and Technology: Understanding How Revolutionary Technology Drives Outsourcing Business Advances
Author: Fern Carlos
Date Posted: Thursday, December 8, 2011 19:19:02 PM | Comments (0)

Tablets are taking over. In just a year, these devices have racked up tremendous sales and changed the PC industry. IT market analyst Canalys estimates that for 2011 alone, global PC shipments – largely propelled by huge sales of pads, particularly iPads – will reach 415 million.

What does the ascent of pads or tablet PCs mean for business and the workplace? It signals another major step in the mobility revolution and ushers in new opportunities for virtually all businesses, including the BPO sector.

In this Internet Age, transformative inventions and rapid technology advances are radically changing how we live and how we work. They are also making a huge impact on business models – changing them, reshaping them.

Jeffrey F. Rayport, writing for “Business Impact” at technologyreview.com said that while technologies like daily newspapers, radio, and television took decades to reach 50 percent of U.S. households, “the Web took only a few years.”

Change in the workforce and the workplace
In that short span of time, a new generation has grown up with these technologies and is now joining the workforce.

These are people who know a life of:

1. Mobility – MP3s, cloud computing and tablet PCs

2. Connectivity – a recent New York Times article reported that findings of a University of Milan research involving 721 million Facebook users show that the average number of acquaintances separating any two people in the world was 4.74. Yes, now just 4.74 degrees of separation, not six.

3. Increased speeds and easier access – and it’s getting even faster. Google’s “PageRank” algorithm, as Rayport pointed out in his Business Impact article, “helps find answers to 70 percent of the world’s online search queries, (and) has changed how we as a species find the information we want or need.”
“Now,” he added, “Google Instant provides search results before we’ve even finished typing the query.”

This generation is exactly the kind of people who would choose tablet PCs and would wholeheartedly welcome further mobility. Technologically savvy, they are not afraid of change and are open to more flexibility in the workplace. They know the concept of working anytime, anywhere; in fact, they live it.

Mobility, connectivity, increased speeds and easier access and the technologies that make these possible have also driven changes in the workplace, allowing for globalization, working outside the office and outsourcing.

The fundamental change in how we interact with data and services has made it possible to rethink business process strategies and change business models. It has also made outsourcing and offshoring not just possible, but also a smart way to do business.

Last March, The Economist reported on the success of an outsourcing firm in fixing Britain’s public finances “thanks to smarter use of information technology and office space, and keener terms from suppliers.”

Harnessing technology is, as we know, key – as is breaking down the barriers of time, distance and language with better products and services and global talent.

The challenges for businesses now and further down the road:

1. Tapping into global talent and keeping them – Finding and keeping like-minded people who are talented and tech savvy. Facebook, for example, knows this, and maybe too well. They have been executing what Fortune’s Miguel Helft and Jessi Hempel have described as “master talent grabs,” luring some of the best talents from rival Google into their fold.

2. To keep innovating – The social networking giant also knows that to stay ahead of the competition you have to offer better products and services. It’s a rapidly changing market and you have to be faster. Roll out new products and services ahead of the competition. And always find a way for your external collaborations to boost further innovation. Be the firm that offers not just reduced costs but also reduced risks and more value. Further enable business model innovations.

Technology, to borrow Bill Gates’ phrase, “amplifies human potential.” It will help pave the way to more openness, allow us to reach further into what we can do, lead us to even greater knowledge, connect us to other people across the globe, and allow people, again, to borrow from Gates, “the opportunity to put their knowledge to work and take advantage of greater opportunities to lead productive and fulfilling lives.”





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