IBM named leader for outsourcing innovation capabilities

by Editor 5/8/2009 4:08:00 PM
IBM has been named innovation leader for outsourcing in a recent study conducted by The Bathwick Group. The leading status of the global IT services company was acknowledged as part of the Bathwick Services Index of major outsourcing businesses in Europe, a quarterly IT Services research publication that was first released in 2008.

The Bathwick Group used online benchmarking and IT assessment activities to collect data from end users around the world, and declared IBM the leader for building innovation into existing large-scale outsourcing contracts.

Kate Hanaghan, Senior Analyst at The Bathwick Group, said: “Innovation in outsourcing is particularly crucial in this very tough economic climate as it can help the IT function to run more cost-effectively and more efficiently. Equally, we know that clients who work with IBM value being able to tap into IBM's deep R&D resources and broad industry expertise in order to experiment beyond the confines of traditional outsourcing agreements. Overall, IBM heads the services pack with an innovation strategy that is mature, well funded and very well received by its customers."

Dave Liederbach, IBM general manager, strategic outsourcing, added: “Innovation partnerships are a natural extension of outsourcing relationships, giving clients direct access to IBM's extended capabilities including research and development as well as our own transformation experience, best practices and lessons learned. Providing experts from IBM's vaunted Research arm to address strategic client challenges and deliver innovative breakthroughs extends the core value IBM delivers through IT outsourcing. IBM is uniquely positioned to deliver this kind of higher-value engagement.”

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Tata companies appoint consultancy majors to reduce carbon footprint

by Editor 5/8/2009 4:06:00 PM

The Tata group companies have launched a campaign to cut down their greenhouse gas emissions and appointed consulting giants McKinsey and Ernst & Young to help Tata’s top five polluting companies – Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Chemicals, Tata Power and Tata Consultancy Services- reduce their carbon footprint. The five companies in question contribute 80 percent of the group’s overall carbon emissions.

The group has formed a special committee, with Irani at the helm, to steer the group’s green efforts and find ways for its member companies – about a hundred of them – to reduce emissions over a period of time.

Tata Sons director J J Irani said: “I must admit that we've been rather slow in catching up with the requirement of becoming a low-carbon economy. The Tatas are planning to play some role in understanding how we could reduce our emissions so that we can leave a better world for our children and grandchildren.”


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IT jobs most suitable for offshoring – new Roland Berger study

by Editor 5/6/2009 3:34:00 PM
management consulting jobs
A third of UK jobs at risk of being sent overseas, according to a new report from strategy consulting firm Roland Berger.

Roland Berger consultants polled senior executives at 200 multinational firms based in the UK and the responses show that operating costs in the UK will prompt companies to move core functions abroad. Around 29 percent of the workforce in the companies included in the survey could be replaced by lower-cost labour by 2015. More than 50 percent of the executives polled have either begun the process or are considering to do so.

Information technology was cited by most as the most suitable function to offshore, with 69 percent of the executives saying that they are considering the move. Other than IT, jobs most likely to be offshored are in customer services (64 percent), research and development (61 percent) and sales management (59 percent).

As many as 81 percent of the executives surveyed said they planned to offshore key business areas within the next six years.

David Stern, UK managing partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, says: “This trend towards offshoring is markedly different from the international outsourcing we have seen to date, with both knowledge economy jobs and core business functions now being exported to economies which are more competitive in the global environment. These are unlikely to return once the economy picks up, a trend which threatens a permanent rise in UK unemployment, leading to falling revenues and ultimately a decline in GDP.”

“The government must help UK companies and employees become more competitive in the global market place, otherwise the trickle of jobs moving offshore will become a torrent,” he added. “This will require reducing bureaucracy, enhancing the skills of the labour pool and alleviating the cost burden on business, but this will present a huge challenge in the current economic climate.”

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Deloitte report: Workforce reductions get deeper, more difficult to make

by Editor 5/6/2009 3:30:00 PM
Deloitte released a new study yesterday that shows how talent managers and high ranking executives worldwide are adapting their workforces to the economic crisis.

The study, “Managing Talent in a Turbulent Economy: Navigating a Course Through Rough Waters,” was conducted in association with Forbes Insights.

Here are the key findings on talent management in the present economic climate:

• Cutbacks and layoffs dominate the corporate talent agenda -- Nearly half (47 percent) of the 397 international executives questioned reported layoffs over the last three months, markedly more than those who had predicted layoffs (38 percent) in our January study. Of the companies surveyed that experienced layoffs in the last quarter, 71 percent expect more layoffs in the coming quarter.

• Workforce reductions get deeper and more difficult to make -- Forty-three percent of executives surveyed list "role necessity" as a key factor in making decisions about workforce reductions -- a 17 percentage point drop from January. Additionally, past and current performance is no guarantee of job security with less than half of managers surveyed (45 percent) reporting this is a top factor.

• Layoff survivors are also feeling the impact -- By strong margins, executives surveyed reported that over the next 12 months their companies are more likely to decrease rather than increase compensation levels (25 percent to 15 percent), benefit levels and packages (32 percent to 14 percent) and discretionary perks such as subsidized food and parking (39 percent to 12 percent). Corporate bonuses are also being pared back, with more than a third (35 percent) reporting they expect bonuses to decrease this year.

• The intersection between risk and talent remains a critical issue for all organizations surveyed -- By a 2:1 margin compared to total respondents, executives surveyed in CFO/Treasurer/Comptroller roles were more likely to disagree that employees in their firms knew how to identify fraud and other behaviors that could endanger their companies. The senior executives polled in the study expect significant challenges to persist and few of them believe that the worst is over as their workforce cuts are becoming deeper and harder to make.

Jeff Schwartz, principal, Human Capital, Deloitte Consulting LLP, says: “It is a true sign of the times as austerity measures now outrank efforts to increase sales and serve customers as top priorities for these executives. Even these companies' most skilled employees have begun to feel the pain of the weakened economy, and their managers are struggling with how best to align their workforces with the reality of what many expect to be a prolonged downturn."

The full report is available on Deloitte’s website.

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IBM strengthens Information Agenda strategy, buys leading data discovery software firm

by Editor 5/5/2009 4:06:00 PM
Software giant IBM has acquired the assets of California-based data discovery software company Exeros. This move further strengthens IBM’s Information Agenda strategy and provides the company’s Business Analytics Optimization Consulting business with new capabilities.

Exeros’ software is designed to automatically discover hidden relationships between databases and to help users disentangle overwhelming amounts of information coming from different sources much faster than they would ordinarily be able to do. As a result, Exeros' technology can radically cut the expenses of data warehousing, master data management, and other data-intensive projects.

“All organizations today are faced with the daunting challenge of turning massive amounts of information into insights to guide their businesses, but many are held back by the complexity of corporate data sources,” says Ambuj Goyal, general manager, IBM Information Management. “The combination of IBM and Exeros will enable companies to more intelligently manage their data across all formats and computing platforms, creating a smarter enterprise.”

IBM will integrate Exeros within IBM's Information Management Software portfolio over the next several months.

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