Tuesday, 22nd July 2008
Tim Buckley Owen
I suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised by reports that Barclay’s Bank is planning to axe 1,800 jobs in the UK as part of its plans to create technology centres in key offshore locations around the world. According to the Register newsletter http://digbig.com/4xfdt the bank first told staff about its outsourcing plans last January – but one can’t help feeling that the credit crunch, allied to the dismal response to the bank’s recent rights offer http://digbig.com/4xfdw might have given the process a little added urgency.
So offshoring of back office activities returns to the agenda with a vengeance – as we warned it would do in May http://www.vivavip.com/go/e6181 – and yet again there’s no shortage of advice on how to deal with it. As usual, the advice isn’t targeted directly at information managers, but that doesn’t stop astute infopros from benefiting from it nevertheless.
Reporting that the worldwide market for customer relationship management software grew by 23% in 2007, IT consultant Gartner has also been highlighting ways in which technology, allied to judicious outsourcing, can help chief finance officers deliver business growth. The message is clear: If you’re going to provide remote support services, they’d better be good.
Which is probably why Gartner is especially concerned with the impact of social networking, collaborative technologies and social software on the CRM market. ‘Enterprises face increasing challenges to determine how best to harness these trends and technologies for growth, both internally and in their customer service strategies,’ says Gartner research director Sharon Mertz http://digbig.com/4xfdx launching the $1,295 report Dataquest Insight: Customer Relationship Management, Worldwide, 2007.
Much more helpful to information folk, though, is a further Gartner report (more modestly priced at $195), What a CFO Needs to Know about Finance and Accounting BPO. Its accompanying release http://digbig.com/4xfdy highlights five common mistakes that organisations make when planning to adopt business process outsourcing.
Providing insufficient funding to the internal sourcing management team comes in at no 1. Not including the IT team in the early planning stages and failing to ask the BPO provider for clear guidance on how to use the latest process automation tools follow closely on its heels at nos 2 and 3.
Trying to monitor too many service level agreements and failing to get sufficient acceptance and collaboration for a project from business divisions and country locations are the last two mistakes Gartner highlights. It’s all commonsense stuff, but so easy to get wrong.
It’s a tough world in business at the moment, and you may find that some degree of outsourcing of your services is unavoidable. If so, you need to be sure that the increasingly sophisticated available technology works for you rather than against.
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