All Eyes on China

With the recent passing of the Chinese New Year, it’s a moment for somber reflection around the world. Just a year ago, many of us were taking a last trip in a world that was soon to disappear from view, but didn’t know it. Indeed, I was coming back from Costa Rica when I first heard the news, and I have not been on a plane since.

Wuhan was the first to be hit, and hit hard, but the pandemic soon reached its long fingers around the globe.

All the more hopeful, therefore, to witness China’s resiliency. SSON is about to launch its first face-to-face event since COVID-19 shut down any such opportunities. It will take place in Shanghai next month (you can get the brochure here).

448 delivery centers spread across China

Our database (SSON Analytics) lists 448 delivery centers spread across China, the vast majority of them captive or hybrid [i.e. containing an outsourced element]. Shanghai itself is home to more than 150 (you can see a full list of these centers by name – indeed for any city in the world – in the Shared Services Atlas, one of SSON Analytics tools).

We can also look to China, therefore, to see how the largest work from home experiment ever conducted will play out. Companies will need to look at talent through a different lens as employees find themselves working in new environments and in new ways.

Future of Work

Technology will play a key role in enabling this workplace of the future, as SSON data confirms. “Future of work” has become a battle cry – and an imperative. According to SSON data, nearly half the respondents of a recent survey confirm their plans to invest in new technologies to enable communication and transparency across distributed teams, as well as to manage workflow and execute processes.

Indeed, technology is the key driver of future of work, as shared services shift to an increasingly virtual, remote, and location-agnostic model. This will be particularly significant as ¾ of China-based delivery centers indicated their plans to expand their scope of work next year, predominantly in terms of service lines but also in geographic reach.

Let us hope that the Year of the Ox will reflect all the best qualities: diligence, dependability, strength and determination, to see us through. That also requires planning and execution, however – carefully and diligently.

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