Who’d have thought it?
Let us pretend it’s not January 2010 – let us instead pretend it’s January 2009, and we are predicting what will happen in the year to follow.
I cannot conceive that many would have even considered the possibility that within six weeks of the new year, the Indian outsourcing industry would be in complete turmoil over the largest ever fraud – i.e. the Satyam situation.
How many could have realistically predicted that by May 2009, EDS, the bastion of the sourcing world, would be bought by HP for £13.9 billion, doubling its services business in one fell swoop? Who would have also thought that ACS would have been bought by Xerox, transforming their global proposition?
And how much of the trend reversal in the financial sector could have been predicted? Citibank and Aviva have proclaimed for years how important their captive offshoring operations were; how they formed a distinct competitive advantage and how they fundamentally disagreed with the prospect of outsourcing as a viable alternative – within six months of 2009, Citibank had sold its captive to Genpact, and Aviva had in turn sold its to WNS.
I don’t think many people really would have predicted that!
So, today, the dawning of 2010, what do we think we will be talking about this time next year? Will the ongoing expectation that one of the principal Indian outsourcing companies will buy a major European player eventually become reality? Will innovation come back into the forefront of the market’s thoughts as a renewed priority and not continue to be shunned in favour of basic cost reductions? Will cloud computing really start to mature, or will there be a horrific security disaster from using cloud-based technology in sourcing that delays its wider uptake, or worse, leads to ongoing distrust of the concept?
Will there be an unexpected, or even aggressive, merger of two or more of the major sourcing players?
Will multi-sourcing no longer be the flavour of the month as companies struggle to believe that multiple supplier relationships could be efficiently managed, when managing just one causes so many problems?
I certainly don’t know the answers to these speculations just yet, but hopefully during 2010 I will be able to keep you abreast of the latest rumours and happenings in the sourcing world.
So I trust you all had a Merry Christmas, and here’s wishing you a happy (but most likely unpredictable!) 2010!