Technology demands new roles but it also has an effect on where those roles will be performed. The right location for your business is something that many companies have taken for granted in recent years but it deserves more consideration in the digital age.
Where offshoring was once synonymous with finding areas with a large supply of cheap, unskilled labor, today the objective is to find the global centers of excellence for the area that you are seeking to transform.
Such centers emerge from a nucleus of industry-aligned companies or where certain business functions congregate. As more businesses gravitate to the same place, similar companies are encouraged to follow. Cities—and even entire countries—thus become specialists in certain functions, processes or sectors.
How you connect these people to the rest of your business brings new challenges, both in terms of the collaboration technology, and in some cases where multiple time zones limit the opportunities for real-time collaboration.
While communications software makes collaboration easier, there are still only 24 hours in the day. Some companies have shifted the standard working hours in certain regions to increase the overlap in the working day and allow more time for collaboration. The benefits of a global workforce are too great to ignore and companies that are not taking advantage of global concentrations of talent will soon fall behind the competition.
To identify the right location mix and make the most of your talented global workforce, I recommend the following:
Ask where the global center of excellence is for the process you plan to transform.
Ensure your workforce has tools that enable them to work remotely. If these tools have security concerns, then look to suppliers of secure tools with the same capability.
Concentrate on service centers and handover points so that global collaboration is possible. Ensure you have ways to share not only the relevant data but also instructions for how the next team should proceed when work is passed between regions and that the new team has the right software to complete the work.