service providers

The Powerful Workforce That’s Not on Your Payroll

Contingent workers now represent nearly 25 percent of total workforce spend.

Navigating the Skills Shortage

Do you have the talent you need to stay competitive? Connect with your customers in a 24/7 world? Harness new technologies to drive more business value?

To achieve these goals, organizations need to source fresh talent and new capabilities. That’s easier said than done. To put things into perspective, in 2009 there were 6.6 job seekers for every vacancy in the US. By July 2018 that figure had fallen to 0.9, meaning there are now more job openings than unemployed people. The result? It’s increasingly hard for organizations to find the skills they need. 

Our new research found that many organizations are already experiencing significant skills shortfalls. Just 31% of executives say their organization has enough skills in newer technologies (such as AI, automation and robotics). Only 29% have enough skills in cybersecurity.

To source sought-after skills, many organizations are turning to the external workforce, which includes:

  • contingent labor (also known as non-payroll workers), such as independent contractors, freelancers and temporary staff
  • services providers (companies that supply services delivered by people), such as consulting firms and marketing agencies

Our research found that the external workforce helps organizations to achieve a broad range of business goals. Most executives say the external workforce is important or extremely important to operating at full capacity/meeting market demands (74%) and improving the customer experience/client satisfaction (67%).

Molly Spatara, Global VP, Brand Experience, SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass

How much do you know about your invisible workforce?

New research presents four key actions organizations can take to better manage services providers to achieve better business outcomes, maximize ROI and mitigate risk.

Your workforce is larger than you think. Look beyond your employees and contingent workers and you’ll realize there’s another large, powerful force at play. One that probably isn’t on your radar.

Services providers, such as consulting firms, marketing agencies and IT outsourcers, play a crucial role in helping organizations get work done. They are a vital part of today’s workforce, comprising nearly one-fifth of workforce spend, and bringing much-needed skills to the table. They carry out mission-critical work, often operating at the heart of the enterprise.

In the oil and gas industry, services providers play a major role in shutdown/turnarounds, which cost millions each day and must therefore be completed as soon as possible. Many organizations rely on consulting firms to help them build and execute their strategies – particularly around digital transformation. Banks engage IT consultancies to improve their online and mobile banking platforms and call centers to support their customers.

In many organizations, services providers operate as an invisible workforce. How can management ensure that this often-unseen workforce consistently delivers maximum value? And how can organizations make sure that workers’ access to confidential data and systems is turned off at the end of the engagement?

Molly Spatara, Global VP, Brand Experience, SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass