Living in a challenging economy like this one requires special “survival skills”. Every industry faces challenges, and the shared services and outsourcing (SSO) sector is no exception. Moreover, change has become the only constant in business exerting even greater pressure on service providers for constant improvement.
Previous articles addressed the biggest trends disrupting the SSO industry from a technological perspective. The focus was on improving customer experience and service optimization through digitization, data analytics and automation. The technology has definitely opened up opportunities but the pace at which the technology is advancing has also posed as a challenge.
Bear in mind, investing solely in technology is not enough!
Employees are the solid ground for seizing these opportunities. More importantly, the skills employees have and the skills they develop, upgrade and acquire are crucial! Companies which will not be able to insource the required skills turn towards shared services centers and outsourcing companies. According to HfS and KPMG research (2015), for more than half (52%) of the businesses in Europe greater collaboration with their service providers is crucial for driving value for their organization. Next on the list for value creation is the need for formal change management to reorient existing talent and finally hiring new talent with the right skills. And those failing to make the most of today’s connected economy will be fast outpaced by the competition.
Doing business has transformed with collaboration and external support playing crucial role for competitiveness and growth.
Service providers need to step up their game if they want to seize the opportunities. Retaining their staff as well as attracting and developing new talent will be their biggest challenge. The demand is shifting towards a unique blend of consulting and outsourcing which implies urgent need of employees’ skills upgrade.
I will conclude this article with part of Marcela Stoica’s speech at the last European BPO forum:
“My strong belief is that the most brilliant employ of the last-hour technology is useless if the people providing services are inadequate. The success will stay with the ones who know how to translate this challenge into an opportunity, by providing their employees with sounding comp & ben and development programs.”