The speed in which technology evolves can be a little overwhelming. Think about what was considered innovative and cutting edge just over two years ago. They may not have that same claim today because of consistent evolution and efficiency. This is what digital transformation is about. It is when companies see themselves changing alongside current technologies to help them better their business and stay competitive.
However, this does not happen overnight and there will always be some pushback to change. This is true especially for companies that relied on traditional business strategies and have difficulty transforming themselves digitally. As the old saying goes for them, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The new reality is that businesses are broader, more global and more accessible than ever before. To put it bluntly, not embracing and adapting to these changes will cause companies to fall behind with their reduced competitiveness.
This also highlights the importance of having leadership within digital transformation. In the finance industry for instance, CFOs should be some of the first people to welcome new technologies and the perks digital transformation can bring.
Today’s business world is defined by data. No matter how you look at or cut it, data is an important resource for all businesses today. CFOs in particular are responsible for handling sensitive, financial data each day. If companies want to stay relevant and competitive, they must be aware of how important accurate data is. With the amount of data needed to be processed already, it will surely increase in the coming years. CFOs must know this and make real-time decisions to real-time problems through digital data visualization.
Many CFOs that do not adapt digitally will struggle on how to handle the weight of too much data. This includes preserving data integrity. Ideally, having a data-centric organisation that works from one source of information requires a holistic understanding of the business’ data needs and output from a strategic and operational point of view.
When finance roles were first outsourced, they mostly focused on the administrative side. In the past, companies only looked at cash flow accounting and reporting to stakeholders. Today however, finance roles are in a consultative capacity that set objectives and solve issues across the business. By providing accurate forecasting and budgeting data, finance roles have steadily evolved into what they can truly bring.
As the industry evolves, so do the roles of many CFOs. They create strategic decisions based on a company’s financial outlook. Their views of cost and revenue drivers for protecting profit margin are valuable as they help grow the organization. CFOs can effectively do this by having access to real-time information to make better data-driven decisions.
Finance functions are a critical part of any business and the decision making that goes into it. CFOs must take on the roles of being enablers of change. Becoming leaders in the digital transformation allows them to do this and adapt their functions. They have the most comprehensive visibility into their organisation’s data foundations. In turn, this visibility lets them become the eyes and ears of a business when making better data-driven decisions. They also determine any future data needs for digital transformation and resource requirements.
As exciting as it sounds, digital transformation does not happen instantly. It is a gradual process that requires focused commitment from everyone in a company, not just the CFO. It can be adapted as a new kind of business model which means a different type of customer engagement. Through offshoring, adapting to these fast-paced changes has never been easier and more productive.
Despite numerous technological advances, offshoring still has negative connotations. Some consumers see offshoring as being provided low level services. This often depends on the country offering these services and its reliability in maintaining quality services. Some service providers still use traditional strategies as well. They are more focused on reaching required metrics rather than focusing on the quality of their services.
Considering today’s global situation, these are all legitimate concerns. It’s understandable for people to criticise companies that offshore their business operations. However, most need to recognise that businesses face unseen challenges they may not be aware of or fully understand.
When boiled down to its core, there are four primary reasons why companies choose to offshore. Let’s take a look at them.
Businesses are constantly seeking ways to maintain a stable source of revenue. At the same time, they have to sustain their daily operations to stay competitive. However, as we’ve seen this year, there are unpredictable fluctuations in the economy to consider. To that end, most companies cannot just maintain local costs for certain roles.
That is when offshoring becomes an enticing option for them. Consider for a moment the cost of hiring a local customer service representative. In Australia, their annual salary costs an average of $50,000 a year. Compared to an offshored CSR in the Philippines, their salaries are almost a quarter of this price. This also does not translate into a lowered quality of work. Businesses, therefore, can redirect their resources by reducing some overhead costs. Their local workforce can then focus more on their core competencies, increase productivity, and prioritise revenue-generating tasks.
Earlier, we mentioned the need for businesses to stay competitive. For that to happen, they need to increase efficiency, enhance operations and innovate on delivering quality service. Offshoring allows companies to offer high value services such as 24/7 customer support and provide effective service level tasks with flexible work schedules.
In our interconnected world, businesses of all sizes are competing on a global stage. This means that innovation is becoming a major factor in determining success. The constant demand for efficient, personalised customer service for instance makes it more challenging to stay relevant.
It cannot be argued how alarming unemployment is today. The declining number of available opportunities globally is often why most people disagree with offshoring. However, despite this situation, several industries are struggling with how to overcome the skill shortages.
Through offshoring, companies discovered that they could hire a team of highly qualified staff in countries like the Philippines. They discovered valuable, motivated team members ready to take on functions like back-office tasks often overlooked by local employees.
Companies must innovate on how to have an efficient process flow within their business. It allows them to enhance the quality of their products and services offered. Through modern technology, they now have full control over their offshore team, enabling them to ensure quality standards are reached.
As noted earlier, offshoring back-office tasks is valuable to any company. Keep in mind however the quality of offshored services may vary from each country. Depending on the goals your business aims to achieve, it is best to look at which country can provide you the best team. China, for instance, is king when it comes to production and manufacturing. On the other hand,, offshoring customer service representatives to the Philippines continues to be ideal. The talent and skill that the global workforce offers are irreplaceable. They can be effectively harnessed by companies to reach their long-term goals.
Offshoring, like any other strategy, is not a perfect approach. If not paired with the right partner, it can be prone to abuse and used just for cutting costs. Most of all, offshoring should not be seen as a replacement for your current, local staff. Instead, it should be used to augment your current team for the further growth of your business. That is why this strategy needs to be carefully customised and tailor-fit with the company’s needs without disrupting ongoing operations.
It should come as no surprise that IT functions are often what companies look to outsource first. In the history of outsourcing (and the BPO industry by extension), IT functions were among the first roles remote teams got to adopt.
In the years since, both the BPO industry and IT roles have evolved. What began as just providing in-office support branched out into more facets that help a company online. As the changes came, so did the challenges. For one thing, companies will talk about how it can end up being a costly endeavor and not something that can be done occasionally. Outsourcing, therefore, becomes a much more viable alternative. Companies looking to strengthen their IT needs can get the results they need at a lesser cost with remote teams.
With the evolution of today’s business climate, the range of IT functions companies can outsource also grew. With more objectives being met at a more rapid rate, outsourcing newer functions was inevitable.
Here are five vital IT functions that your business should consider sending to an outsourcing provider.
Software development is a sought after IT function by companies. An outsource software developer lets companies work with experienced professionals in a cost effective manner. What’s more, they also help reduce risks, allow for more flexibility and develop focused strategies. If there is a lack of local or in-house experience, outsourced software development can be a great boon for any company.
It cannot be overstated just how important web development is for companies. As more people today are browsing online, it is essential that a company’s online presence stands out. To be quite frank, companies that do not have a defined presence online and just rely on their social media reach will fall behind. Working with an experienced web designer not only makes sure you stand out, but can at a reduced cost.
While a website’s presentation is important, so is the overall functionality. A business’ website may have all the content and branding it needs to win people over. However, if it is constantly plagued by errors or does not properly display on mobile devices, potential customers and clients will react negatively.
There is often a misconception that email management just means filtering out spam or automating responses when needed. For some companies, mManaging an entire email account may not even be on their list. As stated earlier however, the rapid rate of today’s business environment means a high volume stream of emails daily.
By outsourcing email management, you not only address the daily queries that your company gets, but a well-equipped outsourced IT team offers protection against common digital attacks. They can organize cluttered inboxes and can also provide regular reporting of high priority messages.
As a business grows, so should the IT infrastructure that scales along with them. Experienced outsourcing providers are able to scale any IT infrastructure required of them. This is especially the case when there is a need for dedicated servers beyond their local office.
Through outsourced managed hosting, companies can also access and use a shared exclusive server with protections in place. By doing this, your hosting providers can adjust their infrastructure based on particular conditions at any time. You anticipate when massive influxes are coming into your website, then scaling back to a more manageable approach.
Most third-party outsourcing providers offer data processing and resources for companies. This is often the case when the company’s own IT department is unable to handle it. From data collection to data storage and backup, maintenance and updates, having a trained staff on-hand can help ease the processes that come with data center outsourcing.
The number of outsourced IT functions will only grow and develop as technology gets better. As a cost saving approach, outsourcing is second to none, especially when it comes to its IT roots. More than that, companies that opt to outsource will be collaborating with an experienced provider that can meet their goals.
Diversify is fully equipped to handle IT functions ready to be outsourced with teams that can take on these responsibilities. Contact us today to get started.
There’s no two ways about it: remote work is the new reality for many companies today. Due to the current global pandemic, office-based teams suddenly found themselves working straight from their homes with different resources. It’s been a few long months and by now, many have been able to find their new routines and approaches to working from home. After all, the scenery may have changed, but work is work wherever you do it from.
It certainly has not been without its challenges. The biggest hurdle is its acceptance as the current standard for what traditional office work once was. To that end, several questions have arisen over what working from home really means. Yes, change can be risky, especially with uncertain times ahead, but it’s also best to understand what remote work really means and how it affects the people doing it.
On the surface, the idea of working from home sounds too good to be true. Doing your daily tasks but in casual clothes, on your sofa and your pet nearby is the dream. However, it’s impressions like these that overlook some of the real challenges that remote work brings. Despite some immediate benefits, working from home is just as challenging as being in the office. This may also stem some other erroneous impressions on what working from home is about. Here are some of the most common misconceptions and what they truly mean.
When people think “working from home,” most will think about working on your bed or browsing somewhere else. The notion being that traditional work policies will be difficult to implement, making teams more distracted and less productive. The transition from office to remote work can be taxing, and distractions will happen. But once teams find their groove and adapt to this new normal, they will end up becoming as productive as they were in the office. Organized team members can keep themselves on task, know when to take breaks and compound their dedication to their tasks.
It is also likely that teams will still be as busy as you were, with no time for distractions. This is especially true with customer service roles, where teams will need to interact with others. As noted earlier, the location may be different, but the work is still the same.
Companies take great pride in cultivating and nurturing their office culture. For some, it is even part of their core values. Often, this culture means fostering strong professional relationships with others that help boost productivity. With more people needing to work from home, making the effort to develop these relationships just isn’t there anymore. Some will say they prefer working alone, but that does not mean needing to be lonely as well.
While those daily water cooler chats and cubicle conversations are currently difficult to do, there are ways around it. With consistent communication and check-ins, those relationships can still continue to develop even amidst a pandemic. Using readily available tools like email, voice and video chat should be encouraged so that these uncertain times do not have to be lonely.
Transitioning a team from office to remote work is more than just taking your work home. It means revamping your entire schedule and usual routines to fit this new normal. We’ve seen stories of people struggling to maintain their previous schedules, due to easily maintaining their work–life balance before. Indeed, for people who are used to working at a set schedule, being able to go home at a certain time meant not needing to think about work and to keep focus on yourself. The thought of taking work “home” upends a balance that they are often comfortable with.
This is why good management is important. Many today are struggling to see even a physical difference between “work” and “life” hours. Those who are accustomed to remote work know what it means to find a new balance. This can certainly be achieved with a supportive management staff that can help them ease into this transition.
We hope that by better understanding these work from home myths lets you see why it will need to thrive in today’s global situation. Even before the pandemic, many already saw the benefits of remote work without needing to deal with stressful, uncertain circumstances. As seen in these instances, working from home isn’t as easy as it sounds. It still requires the same amount of commitment, focus and effort from teams as if they were still in an office. With a new yet familiar setting, it remains a challenge for some to regain their previous level of productivity. However, with enough support and communication, teams will no doubt thrive efficiently. Flexibility has always been what made today’s business environment unique, and we are certainly seeing why.
In a previous article, we discussed the importance of managing your mental health during this current pandemic. As the pandemic continues on globally, it can be incredibly difficult at times to remain productive with high output. We also outlined some useful tips that people can use to help them to stay connected with their families and cope with the stresses that have come as a result of the outbreak.
One such approach was the use of video conferencing to stay connected with others. In the last few months, we’ve seen an increase in the use of Skype, Zoom and other related video apps. While their use was already widespread even before the pandemic, more people are seeing just how important they are.
One could certainly say that we are in a global interconnected society. Thanks to emerging technologies and the development of the Internet, it became much easier to interact with people on different platforms. Whether it’s sending an email or leaving a social media message, reaching out to others can be done with ease.
Video conferencing is certainly not a new concept. Ask any business today what their secret to success is, and many will say it’s how they are able to interact with others in real time. Virtual conferences, meetings and webinars are commonplace in today’s business landscape. When you consider the principles behind these meetups, the use of video conferencing was always about staying connected. When also applied outside the business world, it becomes clear how video conferencing can serve as a lifeline for others, especially in this pandemic.
For many people today, video conferencing – and by extension access to the Internet – serves as a lifeline to others. With many social regulations today requiring people to stay indoors, there has been a boom of video conferencing apps for personal use. Their use among the elderly in particular is gaining more traction. As some of the most vulnerable to COVID-19, staying socially distant but connected with their families is now a way of life.
Consider how they’ve been so widely used in the business landscape and what translates to outside of it. Online get-togethers and catch ups are now happening on a regular basis whether it’s among friends or family. The World Health Organization (WHO) even suggested that regularly scheduled video calls are a great boon for those living alone or need to be around other people.
Of course, as with all good things, they should be taken in regulation. With the number of video conferences skyrocketing, experts warn that too much exposure to it can cause burnout. “Zoom Fatigue” can be exhausting and it is best to balance out your activities while also practicing new social guidelines. Staying connected in this pandemic is important, but so is your own personal health.
It’s difficult to say how much longer people will need to lean on video conferencing this much. What’s clear, however, is that evolving technologies are becoming more vital under the new normal that’s to come. People do not need to keep themselves fully isolated during this pandemic. They can just as quickly get online and join others over video conferencing as they continue to navigate through this pandemic together.