At the onset of 2009, every Indian IT and outsourcing were in doubt that which way the economy will go this year. Will we see a quick revival after Obama comes with his new policies or it will sink deeper before recovering. Today, we have a clearer picture where some signs of recovery are there but since the hurt was much more than expected (it is still unleashing in few areas) that no deterioration is also seen as recovery to build a sentiment among people and actual buying of product & services improves.
This downturn has impacted the way the large organizations work and have changed their thinking in multiple ways. Now, the lavish spending on employee relations by some large orgs is reduced a lot, travel budget is truncated, economy rather than branding is seen as more comfortable option while spending. Same is for services these orgs buy. This puts a lot of pressure on the IT and BPO organizations in India and China which are the growth engines for the world in these testing times. These organizations already under pressure to reduce the rates, are asked to further down the barrel. The key for these orgs are now to come up with new and improved versions of their service packages and start delivering more value for money. They need to innovate, look at the bigger picture, work in a partnership mode with their customers and try to increase productivity year on year so that their services are not only seen as just outsourcing jobs to a cheaper location but a value add to their customer organization.
It is not that these orgs are not into it and are minting money just on body shopping. Infact, body shopping was never on the agenda of any of the world class orgs and they always thought of owning a piece and improving it. These orgs are working on the metrics like productivity, value delivery and to top it all innovation and taking joint decisions on future strategies which is a very healthy sign. Now, is the time to take this to a step further and expand the horizon to a large picture. These orgs need to understand why a large company in US or Europe needs to outsource its operations or IT landscape. Is it just the missing skill set, lack of will to invest in human resources or cheap labour. Also, they need to step in their shoes to check how can the whole process can be made better in the customer org with their services. I am witness to such an initiative from a pioneer IT+BPO company that have started looking into it and seriously working on generic processes based on best practices that can fit to organizations in different industries. These processes, if implemented, will upfront bring substantial productivity and can be a game changer in these tough times. Need for others to start looking beyond the set of services they offer and I am sure, this present downturn will not take long to turn the tide.