By Craig Stevens.
One of the world’s greatest philosopher’s and Hall of Fame baseball player, Yogi Berra, came up with this article’s basic concept many years ago. In one of his autobiographies Yogi openly said his thoughts were not meant to be insightful at all, they were basic answers to simple questions such as how do you like to get paid to which he responded, “I like getting paid in cash, that is almost as good as money.”
OK, so he may not be providing Confucius level intellect, but Yogi-isms are definitely thought provoking. I was reminded of this when considering the major decisions that both service providers and their clients must make in the near future for ITO and BPO related services as they are facing a definite fork in the road.
For years the industry has seen a commoditisation of ITO and BPO services. Even Wikipedia now states how most vendors are very similar and use price and location being their key differentiators. This is not new news as most have seen this trend for years.
But many are beginning to notice an entirely different path an organisation can take. In a recent book entitled “The Quantum Age of IT” by Charles Araujo, the first words stated in the introduction were “IT as we know it is dead.” If that is not a tough way to start a book and grab someone’s attention then I do not know what is. Although his book was obviously intended to be for IT, its concepts and ramifications closely mirror that of business process as well – especially given the intertwining aspects of business, process, and technology. Paraphrasing Charles’ concepts, the growth of these functions has gone something like this:
- The IT, customer service and client support functions were never really created, that they simply have evolved over time
- As time has gone on, natural silos were created based on specialisation
- This has led to divided cultures within organisations as frequently diverging and often conflicting goals exist and often those involved do not understand the needs or concepts of others
- As today’s issues become more and more complex, the basis for these divides has broken down, become fractured and has become a source of frustration as cultural norms often are in conflict in reality of situations
The reasons for this change are extreme and range from things like ongoing globalisation of businesses, cloud computing, social networking, infrastructure modifications, time to market issues to much more.
But how does this change effect ITO and BPO functions and what is the fork in the road? The answer is simple. Changes within an organisation’s operational support structure will change how those who support the functions operate. The existing structure has led to years of the consumerisation of ITO and BPO services and has driven those services to becoming more of a commodity than a value add for most buying organisations.
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