Research and Analysis
Research and analysis are a major component of enterprise transformation and Transourcing™. Here you will find some of our thought leadership pertinent to transformation, globalization and e-business/technology transformation as well as key reference sources.
Papers and Presentations
- "The Future of Outsourcing Unveiled by ITO and BPO Analysis," The Global Human Capital Journal
- "Transformational Promise for Outsourcing," The Global Human Capital Journal
- "Outsourcing, the IT of 2005-2015," The Technology Executives Club Journal
- "Agility on Tap: Demystifying the Virtues of Virtualization, The Global Human Capital Journal
- "Reengineering Reengineering for the Flat World—with James Champy," The Global Human Capital Journal
- "Using an Enterprise Integration Competency Center to Drive Success with Enterprise SOA and Web Services," The Technology Executives Club Journal
- "The Enterprise Lock-in Phenomenon," The Global Human Capital Journal
- "China Outlook and Analysis 2006," The Global Human Capital Journal
- "Global Inflection Points," The Global Human Capital Journal
- "On Innovation, Interaction and Change," The Global Human Capital Journal
- "A Roadmap for the Enterprise Rollout of Service-oriented Architecture," The Technology Executives Club Journal (summary) (full version)
- "Changing the Economics of Enterprise Software Development," The Technology Executives Club Journal (summary) (full version)
Transourcing™ is the result of extensive research, and we are pleased to present select sources, with comments, for your use. They are selected for readability and relevance to different aspects of outsourcing, architecture, innovation, marketing, experience, globalization. Regarding articles, if you don't have access to The McKinsey Quarterly and see an article you'd like, we can email you the link to the article. If you're not an HBR subscriber, you can buy articles for a nominal fee. Many of the other articles are free online.
The Global Human Capital Journal—An eclectic on-line journal focused on enterprise transformation, specifically how global collaboration trends are creating an on-demand world of knowledge expertise that is accessible from anywhere, anytime. Articles on economics, marketing and technology.
International Association of Outsourcing Professionals—Led by Michael Corbett, the IAOP is dedicated to setting the standard for all aspects of the practice of outsourcing as a profession. Their Knowledge Center is full of useful, practice articles.
Dealing with Darwin, Geoff Moore—Geoff's weblog, which focuses on how companies can innovate and transform themselves. Don't miss his book of the same title.
Indian Raj, Razib Ahmed—Excellent weblog from the front lines of how the people, companies and politics are coping with India's rapid growth. Also read South Asia Biz.
The Innovation work of Doblin, Inc.—Doblin is uniquely focused on "innovation strategy"; they help companies develop sustainable innovation programs. A key part of it is debunking the idea that "innovation happens when you get a group of smart people together." Doblin argues convincingly that it can be a manageable, repeatable process. Their website contains some solid thought leadership. Here is a more detailed analysis.
The innovation work of Strategos, Inc.—Gary Hamel and a cadre of global talent assist companies with creating and implementing repeatable innovation initiatives. Review their articles.
Make IT Matter, Thomas H. Davenport—Tom Davenport is one of the most knowledgeable people about knowledge and many issues and strategies related to knowledge management. He knows something about the subject, having led research centers for many leading consulting firms. Also read his weblog.
John Hagel's Website—Hagel is truly a visionary with decades of experience advising global enterprises. His website contains many articles that articulate, from a business executive's perspective, the "so what" behind architecture, service-oriented architecture and Web services. Hagel has written extensively about the significance of the Internet (the "Net Worth/Gain") and, currently, the advent of global collaboration and outsourcing. Don't miss his weblog.
Outsourcing Times—Although technically a weblog, it is published by a network, so less a personal point of view. Has extensive newsy coverage of Indian, I.T. focused firms and their business environment.
Outsourcing, CIO Magazine—Excellent material here covers the gamut of issues relevant to technology executives.
The Emerging Global Labor Market, McKinsey—Incisive discussion of the supply and demand of labor. Analyzes "rich country" supply and "emerging country" demand, also specifying 8 industry sectors. A must-read for rare perspective on the potential for "offshore." Also see this perspective.
2006 Global IT Outsourcing Study, DiamondCluster—DC has been committed to its annual studies of IT outsourcing for several years, and 2006's is another excellent analysis of client and provider behavior. Very useful and insightful discussion of how providers and buyers interact, especially valuable if you follow it every year. Highly recommended.
Calling a Change in the Outsourcing Market, Deloitte—A snapshot from the "trough of disillusionment" in which many companies' overly ambitious expectations were not realized, and what went wrong. Solid quantitative and qualitative analysis. If you can't find the paper on their website, contact me.
Serving the new Chinese consumer, The McKinsey Quarterly—2006 Special edition devoted to myriad aspects of China's emerging middle class, from retailing to brand building with several demographics. Also see Fulfilling India's promise, the 2005 Special Edition.
A Case for Removing Trade Barriers, The Foreign Policy Centre —British thinktank's analysis and call to action for corporate and government leaders to take the real issues of global employment to the people, as NGOs do. Read in conjunction with McKinsey's paper immediately below.
The End of Corporate Imperialism, C.K. Prahalad and Kenneth Lieberthal—Serves as a warning to MNCs' (multinationals) traditional approach to emerging markets, which targets the minority of wealthy customers that most resemble customers in North America, Europe and Japan. Also see this analysis.
When Social Issues Become Strategic, Sheila Bonini, Lenny Mendonca and Jeremy Oppenheim—Fascinating analysis of the "social issue pipeline" and advice for managing it. Addresses "formal" and "semiformal" social issues, which tend to be codified into law, as well as "frontier" and "society" expectations. The focus is on managing customer expectations. The main point is that "social" issues have traditionally been compartmentalized and not take too seriously by the CEO, who often delegates to P.R. In the 21st century, however, that approach is not effective; due to technology, issues can mobilize quickly, catching companies flatfooted unless they change their management approach.
The Coming Commoditization of Processes, Thomas H. Davenport—Fascinating article that outlines logical, yet far-reaching ideas about the maturation of business processes to the point that they are commoditized. Taking the main idea a bit farther, if a process becomes highly standardized, it can be invoked (reused) by another process. This would mean not only that companies would achieve extreme efficiency but also that they would have to find another way to differentiate themselves.
The Outsourcing Revolution, Michael F. Corbett—Corbett's seminal treatise on outsourcing as a transformational opportunity, this is required reading for understanding the promise of outsourcing. Corbett is a true pioneer and a solid writer; filled with examples.
The Only Sustainable Edge, John Hagel and John Seely Brown—Hagel and Brown's call to action for CEOs of global corporations on the outsourcing opportunity; special focus on Asia and innovation in manufacturing and technology. One of the most insightful books out there and easy to read. Excellent, encyclopedic bibliography and notes. Simply a "must read."
Offshore Outsourcing, Marcia Robinson and Ravi Kalakota—Excellent overview of some of the key players, techniques and strategies. Less on strategy and more on implementation. India-centric and I.T. focus. Good history of how India mobilized around I.T. outsourcing and best practices. Good discussion of the outsourcing advisors (i.e. TPI, EquaTerra) and some of the major Indian providers (TCS, Wipro, InfoSys).
Offshore Outsourcing: A Path to New Efficiencies in IT and Business Processes, Nandu Thondavadi and George Albert—A solid book that covers the basics, with emphasis on IT outsourcing to India. Most notable for the collaboration of GE's CEO-India, Scott Bayman on the book and its description of the GE experience. Also good case studies of ABN AMRO, Citibank, Infosys, Mascon and Northwestern Mutual.
Rebuilding the Corporate Genome, A.T. Kearney—Presents ATK's vision for "dissecting companies into tiny pieces and creating new and innovative ways to make the most of their best assets." It describes how smart enterprises are unbundling. Remember that ATK are pioneers of "sourcing" of long standing, and maximizing value from sourcing relationships demands collaboration and partnering, so their insight stems from a similar root to P.O. Get a taste by downloading the first chapter from ATK's website. A "must read" for many of the principles behind P.O.
X-Engineering the Corporation, James Champy—Champy is one of the original reengineering visionaries, having written Reengineering the Corporation in the early 90s. Here, he updates the principles and applies them to the extended enterprise (the "X" refers to crossing boundaries. It's an excellent, insightful work that champions the business process as the rightful focus of management attention. Excellent case studies illustrate key points. Also see notes/analysis from this 2006 presentation.
Smartsourcing, Thomas M. Koulopoulos and Tom Roloff—Many excellent thoughts on the connection between sourcing and innovation, which Koulopoulos clearly sees as an imperative for any organization wishing to be a player in their market(s). Explains the importance of the shift: in the Industrial Economy, workers came to where the work was; now the opposite is true.
The Wisdom of Crowds, James Surowiecki—Offers studied yet intuitive insight into the coming marketing revolution. The premise is that diverse groups of people consistently outperform experts, whether solo or in groups, in decision making. Surowiecki offers exhaustive research on which he bases his conclusions. Prescient insight into why collaboration from diverse partner networks will outperform limited vendor relationships.
The Long Tail, Chris Anderson—Long awaited, The Long Tail is out with a vengeance, and it confronts several cornerstones of the mass-consumer, industrial economy and its distribution methods. Read it as an enjoyable example of how the world is changing in the Knowledge Economy. The main idea that the "era of the blockbuster" is waning. The distribution realities of all "bits" products gave rise to it. Shelf space is very expensive, so all retailers focus on "what's selling" and variety is compromised. Enter the Internet, which enables infinitely long shelf life ("long tail") and changes the economics of selling (and reselling) many bits products for the companies who understand. Don't overlook the website, with which Anderson developed the book, getting real-time feedback from readers on parts of the book while he was writing it.
7 Secrets of Marketing, G. Clotaire Rapaille—This is one of the most surprising books you will ever read, as it offers an insightful inquiry into what makes consumers tick. Marketing was a second career for Rapaille, who was trained and practiced as a psychoanalyst. Rapaille lists half of the Fortune 100 has retained clients because he has a track record with helping them understand the inner structures of consumers' minds and, therefore, how to communicate with them. Moreover, many of these inner structures hold true across cultures which can enable companies to develop offerings that will hold true globally. Numerous ramifications for global collaboration. Here is a more detailed analysis. Also check his firm's website for out of print books.
The Customer Revolution, Patricia Seybold—Claims to be your survival guide to the customer revolution, and it delivers across the board. Seybold is deep and broad on this topic and offers a studied, highly readable analysis and recommended actions. Also don't overlook the (now) classic, Customers.com, which describes how e-business is still empowering customers and shows how astute companies are improving profitability by developing better customer relationships. Excellent case studies. Useful papers available at PSG's website.
The Culting of Brands: When Customers Become True Believers, Douglas Atkin—Read this book to think about customer experience as Atkin addresses experience explicitly by his solid analysis of cult behavior in terms of what motivates people to join and serve. He likens customers of "cult" brands like Harley-Davidson, Starbucks, and Apple to "believers" because they go out of their way to help the company even though they have no financial motivation for doing so. These companies do not sell products or services, they offer highly differentiated experience.
Object-Oriented Technology: A Manager's Guide, David A. Taylor—The manager's bible; explains the theory and structure of the heart of distributed computing, why it's different. You'll also understand the underpinnings of the Internet (a network for distributed systems), Web services and service-oriented architecture. Very readable for the non-technologist. Don't overlook Business Engineering with Object Technology, also by Taylor.
Out of the Box, John Hagel III—Hagel, a business strategy consultant of high standing, delves into Web services and why executives should care about this technology development. Expands some of his excellent papers.
Inside the Tornado, Geoffrey A. Moore—This is required reading because it refines Moore's thoughts articulated in the classic, Crossing the Chasm. Moore popularized the (technology) adoption curve idea, and it is very relevant to understanding the adoption of anything, including new business models and and approaches such as Transourcing™. Transourcing™, like virtually all management approaches these days, is joined at the hip with technology, so understanding technology adoption is critical.