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A more fluid workforce is driving technology transformation

Brian Girouard

Widespread market disruption is driving companies to look at a more fluid workforce. At the same time, an increasing proportion of people prefer the flexibility and variety of freelance work. This is a prime opportunity for staffing and professional-services companies to deliver this more flexible workforce to their clients.

But in many cases, legacy systems are acting as an anchor on new opportunities. We see many staffing and professional-services companies challenged to capitalize on the fluid workforce opportunity because they are still working under old processes and technology. Legacy systems are not agile or flexible enough to deliver on the promise of this emerging model.

Companies need to:

  • Get flexible: existing rigid platforms limit growth. Companies need flexible, scalable platforms that allow for changing business models, organic growth, and acquisitions
  • Avoid expensive upgrades: adding new features or upgrading should not be a major expense. New functionality should be available every three months.
  • Get integrated: systems need to talk to one another, including to business partners. A highly integrated solution, architected properly, can allow a company to respond to change more rapidly.
  • Lose the legacy mindset: move towards the modern user experience your clients and employees expect
  • Avoid custom reports: being dependent on developer-written reports is not valuable. Companies should provide self-service access to data to allow their personnel to perform relevant and timely analysis and make better-informed decisions.

Specialist skills are becoming increasingly important to keep pace with the speed of change. Clients are already shifting more aggressively to a fluid workforce. Companies see the cost-efficiencies and competitive advantages that can be gained with a blended workforce.

It is a significant change to their workforce strategy, a shift of their recruitment and retention operating model, and a reimagining of a culture where fluid workers feel valued. The future workforce needs permanent employees and fluid workers to operate as a cohesive and blended team.

Staffing and professional-services companies are an important source of the fluidity needed in the future. But it means a shift of strategy, operating model, and technology to adapt to the workforce of the future. In my next post, I highlight how digital technologies can help the transformation to support the fluid workforce.

Brian Girouard is EVP, NA Services Industries Leader, at Capgemini and can be reached at