I recently read a great blog about the way that outsourcing is changing as a business strategy by Phil Fersht of HfS Research. The article focuses on the ways that business is evolving and how outsourcing is changing to be a more supportive strategy for many organisations.
This fits with my own observation of the marketplace, where both the requirements for delivering a great customer experience (CX) and the way that companies create outsourcing agreements are evolving and creating a new type of enterprise relationship.
I see three key changes in the way that the client and supplier relationship is evolving:
- Companies previously thought of as suppliers of services are now partners; look at the customer experience for a great example. Companies that are global experts in this area are able to stay on top of the expected services in a way that is now almost impossible to manage in-house. Creating a great customer experience is now so complex that it?s unlikely that you can deliver without an expert partner – so there is no longer just an all-powerful client and supplier that will do anything for the contract. Both companies need each other.
- Customers are defining the future; unlike many industries where big companies set the agenda, when it comes to CX it is customers that are defining what they expect to see. Customers are making changes to the relationship between them and brands without ever telling the brands. To manage this really requires skill and agility.
- Digital Disruption is shaking entire industries; many industries are being turned upside down by digital disruption. New entrants are finding cheaper and better ways to deliver services to the customer that ignore anything done in the past. With strong partnerships in place it is likely that brands can enable new opportunities that pivot away from their traditional business model.
This final point is perhaps the most important. The HfS article argues that we can make outsourcing great again. I believe this is possible and many clients have already started to see their suppliers as valuable and essential partners. Soon I believe we will see incumbents convinced by a partner firm that they need to entirely change their approach to business so they can fight off new market entrants. This will be the real proof that outsourcing today is truly about creating partnerships and has moved far away from the deals of the past.
Photo by Susan Murtaugh licensed under Creative Commons.