Coming away from our Cambridge University buyers summit this week, I was pleasantly surprised by the increased level of sophistication and maturity many services buyers are now exhibiting.
Gone are the provider bitch-fests and endless ranting about failed promises and absent innovation (that they didn't pay for in the first place). Instead, there was a desire to look at themselves, and really try to figure out how to broker change and run their outsourcing engagements as part of a broader business agenda, not some quirky siloed activity, forever tarnished by the word "outsourcing".
Adopting a mindset to change today (not tomorrow), is where everything must start
Yes, the conversation has turned to buyers accepting they need to change first, before heaping all the blame for their woes onto their service providers. This is why our Ideals of As-a-Service begin with a mandate for buyers and providers to change how they behave, how they can adopt a mindset to start writing off their legacy processes and technologies. In short, it's time we focused on fixing our present - it's time we focused on Being As-a-Service:
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It's time we stopped talking about this scenario of "this was legacy and this is our future desired endstate"... we'll just remain stuck in this perpetual stranglehold of never getting anywhere. We'll always we a work-in-progress, a project that never finishes...
As someone joked during our Cambridge University summit this week "Cognitive computing is always going to be huge in the future"... so let's stop evangelizing about a nirvana we many never reach and, instead, start talking about what we need to do today. Let's stop panicking about the future, which is scaring so many people, and start focusing on what we can do today to be more effective.
Let's start talking about Being As-a-Service today... not tomorrow, or some far off point in the future, where we just hope this all becomes somebody else's nightmare...
Bottom-line: We have to narrow the chasm between hype and reality in order to be successful in the present
Our industry is beset by fear, like never before. People are scared - they know their skills and capabilities could quickly become obsolete in a world where the job openings increasingly demand creativity, analytical prowess and an ability to pivot across domains. Suddenly, if you're not a Digital native who talks about endless disruption and the coming robo-geddon, you're a dinosaur... The gap between hype and reality has reached ridiculous proportions, and it's time we stopped thinking about the fantastical future and focus on what we can achieve today.
Successful sourcing executives have to become "brokers of capability" (which one buyer commented sounds like a rock band) where they can live in the present to drive a change mindset for the future. Most of the executives have been tasked with adopting Digital strategies (whatever those may be) and to come up with smart approaches to take advantage of automation technologies. But to get there, they need to change how their teams think, collaborate and operate.
It's a mindset change, it's a culture change. It's about bringing together the key stakeholders and delivery leads to address the As-a-Service Ideals today and stop looking at them as some far off nirvana someone else will take them to. Simply put, most firms can't simply saw-off their legacy by disposing of some archaic ERP system and slamming in some SaaS product, or mimicking every defunct manual process into a piece of RPA software, or firing an entire department of ineffective process wonks. In fact, a lot of the legacy actually works and the ROI of binning it doesn't make financial sense. Writing-off legacy is about starting the process of re-imagining a future without those legacy systems and processes that are holding back our businesses.
So the Ideals of As-a-Service can be initially addressed today by making the most of what we currently have, not simply waiting for the day budget magically appears from above to bring in teams of nose-ringed consultants to redesign our businesses.
2015 As-a-Service Study, Analytics and Big Data, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)