As the need for change and innovation continues to grow, companies are rapidly shifting focus towards outsourcing as a solution to assisting in digital innovation.
For many US companies, understanding the total cost of IT talent services has always been challenging, and is even more concerning now as budgets and resources continue to tighten during the COVID-19 crisis. Here are my thoughts on what to consider as you source IT talent and how to drive the “true India costs” that so many US firms are looking to take advantage of now.
Impact of Uncertainty
Many companies experienced an unanticipated disruption due to the Covid-19 crisis. Project timelines had to be extended, delivery negatively impacted and enterprise control compromised. While there’s no doubt that the pandemic has had an impact in some shape or form on all businesses, we have not seen a significant disruption with our clients at SMC Squared, in part due to the business continuity plans that were already set in place.
Continuity plans are a basic deliverable from the time of initial setup with SMC Squared and are essential for every global office. All SMC Squared global employees are provided with secure laptops and remote connectivity as part of our continuity plan if the office is not accessible. This was tested for our clients prior to COVID, so when Prime Minister Modi announced the shutdown with short notice, all of our employees had their laptops with them, including those who may have traveled home to their native places over the weekend. Therefore, despite the continued uncertainty of the pandemic, the change has had a minimal impact on work capacity.
Steven Stephan, SVP of Global Services & Co-Founder of SMC Squared
For many US companies, understanding the total cost of IT talent services has always been challenging, and is even more concerning now as budgets and resources have tightened in a post-COVID-19 world. But as the need for change and innovation continues to grow, companies are rapidly shifting focus towards outsourcing as a solution to assisting in digital innovation.
Procurement commonly compares hourly rates because it’s an easy comparison. Well, not exactly. But the issue is that the invoice at the end of the month for a committed amount of work is what matters, not what the hourly rate states. Overtime, 45-hour billing weeks, etc. are ways offshore vendors distort billings and make your hourly rate look lower to win deals. So, how can you avoid additional costs associated with services provided by your outsourcing partner?
At SMC2 we find that many Global Insourcing Center RFPs ask for hourly rates as a selection criterion to support cost control or optimization. Hourly rates themselves are easy to compare but do not accurately reflect the actual costs to deliver services or projects. Fixed bids make an attempt at solving this issue, but are often laced with caveats and take a significant effort to understand scope.
Also, many people believe that although the rates in India are lower, it takes more resources to deliver the same value as a US resource. Ratios such as 3:1 or 2:1 are often cited, demonstrating a lack of understanding of India’s technical capabilities and, more so, the opportunity to optimize under a global team structure.
SMC2 has solved this issue by focusing on value generation instead of billable hours. Our teams are measured at the same level as their US counterparts in terms of productivity. This is expressed as 1:1 productivity. We provide the necessary time each week to guarantee a US-full time equivalent of contribution.
Steven Stephan, SVP of Global Services and Co-Founder, SMC Squared
Amy Fong is a Vice President in Everest Group's Strategic Outsourcing and Vendor Management practice. In this role, she advises enterprises on maximizing value from strategic provider relationships in outsourced services categories. She is a featured presenter at SIG’s upcoming virtual SIGnature Events taking place throughout the fall of 2020. Virtual SIGnature Events are free to all qualified buy-side practitioners and sell-side members.
What is your role and what are your day-to-day responsibilities?
I work with our procurement members to ensure they are getting the research and support they need to maximize value in outsourced services categories. We have 200 analysts focused on the outsourcing, global services and intelligent automation space. My role is to work across those content areas to bring it all together and ensure we’re helping procurement.
For instance, developing category strategy templates with the market intelligence we provide, facilitating briefings and peer discussions, and designing surveys that answer top of mind questions. I’m available to our members to answer their questions or guide them to the right expert analyst to dive deep into their challenges.
In the time of COVID-19, this also means helping procurement teams understand how service providers are reacting and what they can expect. Also, helping them identify cost takeout and risk reduction opportunities for the “next normal.”
At the SIG Procurement Technology Summit, attendees will experience the latest procurement technology in a virtual Innovation Hall. These companies are using artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotic process automation to elevate the role of procurement, ignite innovation and impact the world.
Featured here are company overview, solution overview, and company approach and process to help you learn more about the following virtual Innovation Hall technology providers:
New technology, competitive drive and the desire to upend the status quo to influence innovation and enhance value are important characteristics for sourcing and procurement professionals in today’s world. As the digital transformation continues to accelerate at an unprecedented and exciting pace, SIG wants to recognize the change makers, movers and shakers who show innovation, leadership and transformation in areas critical to the sourcing industry.
This week, SIG announced the finalists for the second annual Future of Sourcing Awards taking place at the Fall Global Executive Summit in Carlsbad, California, on October 16. A panel of senior executives judged nominees in eight team categories and two individual categories. The teams and individuals listed below demonstrated ingenuity, initiative and innovation and showed the greatest achievements in terms of fundamentally changing the nature of their business and/or industry.
Shirley is a Vice President on the Business Process Services team with Everest Group. In this role, she advises senior stakeholders of global services including enterprises, service providers and investors in their strategic mandates and initiatives. She shares her take on the digital transformation – what companies need to do to stay relevant and the trends she’s seeing in the market and the industry. Shirley will share her expertise on this topic at the Midwestern Regional SIGnature Eventin March and the Eastern Regional SIGnature Event in September.
Your presentation at the Midwestern Regional SIGnature Event is about buying digital services for your enterprise--why is this such an important topic?
Digital transformation is impacting entire business value chains. Companies that do not have a plan to migrate from traditional models to focus on digitally led solutions will become irrelevant and obsolete. How organizations approach the building of their digital capabilities can result in real market differentiation, and a large part of that strategy depends on how they partner with global service providers and vendors.
The swift evolution of the digital landscape means procurement and sourcing teams must understand the implications of buying digital services so they can support their business and functional customers in obtaining the best outcomes from their digital strategies.