Today’s outsourcing is for tasks that are mission critical for enterprises worldwide. These include outsourcing for high-end tasks such as product design and engineering, strategic outsourcing of functions and niche skills that require innovation, and others that can transform processes and make them more efficient.
Outsourcing has moved away from mere cost savings, which was the traditional de facto factor for outsourcing, towards value addition or enabling companies to focus on core functions. And this is where technology becomes the well-oiled hinge that ties together efficiency and productivity – to the bottom line.
Technology’s role in finance’s productivity and efficiency gap?
The answer, in my opinion, is a resounding “yes”. The top criteria for outsourcing in my view should be increased efficiency – labor arbitrage is one component and technology is your long term gain. Adopters of platform-based outsourcing need standard processes to be super-efficient and transparent. And how is efficiency driven? Through technology.
Over the last decade, finance organizations have deployed a number of different strategies to improve efficiency and productivity in their service delivery. Deployment of technology is at the very heart of a productivity strategy. While cost reduction is the fundamental bedrock of most outsourcing initiatives, technology is the essential platform of efficiency.
To date, the outsourcing focus for a majority of Fortune 500 companies has been on cost efficiency. Yet, in recent months, we’ve seen the scope for inclusion of further activity in the outsource model. BPO providers have been tasked with having to demonstrate that we can provide rigorous and reliable financial control processes to support risk management of a client’s business. We also need to demonstrate coherent and innovative system and process strategies to leverage further benefit. And it is with technology – as the enabler –that allows us to deliver a higher value service to our client stakeholders, while simultaneously demonstrating coherent and innovative system and process strategies to leverage further benefits.
When the time comes for a CFO to justify the expenditure for new technology such as cloud, analytics and management of big data, our job is to show how the solutions will support the bottom line. It is important to show a 360-degree view of “what could be”. Doing so gives perspective on the business areas that can, with technology, deliver the most value, in the most efficient manner.
So while it’s clear that outsourcing saves money, the right BPO partner will be standing by and should be standing by – with an arsenal of technology solutions to support additional cost savings and value add in becoming more efficient and productive.