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Do not outsource everything

Jack Loo | May 20, 2008
Words of sound advice from the man leading EDS Asia.

And then as the merger finalises and the products begin to merge, keep them apprised in an efficient fashion and in a forewarning fashion of all of the things that are going on and how their service will be improved and who their service channels are going through and things of that nature.

Change Management & Outsourcing

In this day and age we have companies looking at change management as a critical thing they have to deal with. Ive stopped calling it outsourcing, I might call it global sourcing because it really isyou have a global footprint, and how do you service and support that global footprint, in the way that optimises skills, optimises the resources that creates the greatest cost benefits.

And as you go through that, there are some components that you will decide that are better outsourced and some components that you need to handle internally, because there are some things that you will do better internally because of their subject matter knowledge, and it doesnt make sense to externalize those. Other things other people might have better skillset on and those make sense to outsource. So I think its got to be a company-specific set of decisions to figure out how outsourcing a system and optimizing their global processes and their change management and their ability to deal with market forces.

CSR, Self-Interest, Skills Development

The one thing that is true across all IT companies and some of the major users is theyre very interested in skills development and capacity building and education, because thats both perhaps corporate social responsibility, but its clearly self-interest. It actually benefits you to benefit the economy, to benefit the workforce, to benefit education. And those are important priorities for all companies and I think what were trying to find in those priorities is what is the right mixboth of the skills which will be needed in the future for that economy as well as a way in which those skills can be imparted effectively.

Regulatory Compliance

When you look at the vast majority of legal regulatory initiatives, theyre very well-intentioned and they make sense in the geography that theyre occurring. But the problem is were now working in a much more globalised society, and information systems dont stop at the border. Nor does information stop at the border. And as you look at things like privacy laws and laws with security requirements, you sometimes start having disconnects between them. So as youre looking at global information flows, its very difficult to make them work because at some point you actually have conflicting legal infrastructures. A case in point was in the US as part of Sarbanex-Oxley theres a requirement to set up a whistleblower line. In France the data protection law doesnt allow you to make an anonymous complaint. So you have a law in one country that says you must have a whistleblower line, and you have a law in another country that has a law that says its illegal to have an anonymous complaint mechanism. You have to figure out how to resolve these things and what ends up happening is in many cases, companies in the middle ground of this discussion that occurs between governments at one level and citizens or users at the other level. And its a delicate place to be. And one that you have to figure out how to work these situations and in many cases the intergovernmental organisations provide the basis upon where you can develop some of the principle approaches that help you deal with these conflicting pieces of legislation.


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