Is it really worth shifting work offshore? Get the real decision drivers from City Cube | SSON Analytics

Why human cost drivers are not yet out of fashion

While the industry sages may tell you it’s no longer the FTE model that is driving value, truth is there is still some way to go before automation truly optimizes service delivery, and the question of how many chairs you fill becomes irrelevant. Just this morning I spoke to an India-based advisor to the shared services and outsourcing industry, who has over a decade's worth of experience working with top multinationals and guiding their sourcing decisions.

The truth is, he told me, that as much as robotic automation and modern technology can effect enormous change, many companies still have fairly inefficient processes, and by and large the right decision is to fix these processes first.

What that means, in other words, is that low-cost sourcing will remain a "thing" for the foreseeable future. It also means that multinationals are still going to think long and hard about how, where, and to what extent they're going to be tapping into global skill sets and capabilities.

The technology advantage, of course, means that this decision becomes, at some level, location agnostic. Which means you can drive your solutions from Tehran to Timbuktu to Tallahassee, as long as you have the office, operations, and people to support it.

Another trend that is guiding shared services is that of customer proximity, and as organizations target new markets, new customers will demand higher touch points. This is to say that "looking for location" is not dead. On the contrary, city based data insights are, week after week, the most popular search selection on SSON Analytics website.

But it's not just about location choice. It's also about weighing up the pros and cons of shifting work from Budapest to Costa Rica, if that is where the skills match the technology and language requirements. With shared services, in the words of GBS superstar Guy Mercier (Solvay, Lisbon), becoming the “iPad of administration” – data dashboards listing key metrics, cost factors and comparative insights across global sourcing locations will become ever more important in helping you to drive better decision making.

To find out how you can access SSON’s Analytics tools, please email Josh Matthews.


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