This year’s Business Show featured presentations and panel discussions with experts from across the industry. We’ve collated our highlights for those who missed the event.
Outsourcing for growth for SMEs - getting it right
The advent of outsourcing about 20 years ago was met with general cynicism and the operating climate for the sector has never really improved.
For SMEs though, outsourcing services that are not core to your central operations could underpin a good business strategy, argues Arvind, who works with small business management teams to help them achieve their goals.
He says using a vendor with the specialist skills that you do not have in your company can speed up product development, identify margin opportunities and flag risks. They can also offer companies access to productivity that would otherwise not be available to them.
But Arvind suggests that too often companies do not see the strategic value in outsourcing and tend to outsource simply to reduce costs.
What will drive outsourcing in 2019?
Arvind suggests data protection will be one big driver of the outsourcing market this year as the internet of things (IoT) is increasingly embedded into everyday consumer items and commercial products that will expose companies even more than they already are to potentially devastating cyber attacks.
Cloud technology is another area of growth for outsourcing as companies move more services to cloud platforms, like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web.
Software development is growing too as companies look to create new customer-facing tools, like mobile apps, for better engagement.
Relationship wins: getting the most value from your vendors
While outsourcing has many benefits, it can create operational risks. Different companies will have different expectations, potentially different attitudes to deadlines, different standards and different cultures. These differences are often at the heart of why an outsourcing relationship breaks down.
“Make sure that there is absolute clarity over the role of the vendor, the objectives of the project, the deliverables, deadlines and process of delivery and how it will be communicated. These must all be laid out in a watertight-legally binding contract,” Adam says.
He also urges business owners to conduct a detailed background research and get references about the previous work of the outsourced partner and their track record before agreeing to go ahead so that you “don’t wake up” to problematic circumstances that could have probably been anticipated.
- Outsourcing certain non-core business activities, like software development and business intelligence, is not just about cost saving, but can enable growth for SMEs
- Make sure there is absolute clarity over the role and objective of the project, deliverables and communications process outlined in a legally-binding contract