There are two absolutely imperative requirements to offshoring success. That is what became crystal clear following a panel session including Dr Tim Hasso (Accounting professor at Bond University), Ben Rajah (Director at Staff Domain), Nick Visilidis, (leading IT consultant) and moderator and small business consultant, Tim Hoopman.
Looking at offshoring through their respective lenses, academic research, industry, implementation and personal experience – the panelists agreed the key to offshoring success comes down to:
1. Communication. From every perspective, clear lines of communication and transparency are fundamental to the success of any offshoring experience – regardless of your organisation’s size. Starting of course, with your offshoring partner of choice. A key point of contact that can help you from the very beginning, who cares about your success and helps to guide you towards it always. Communication with your offshoring teams is also imperative. Noting of course, that some offshoring models restrict this completely. And vitally important is communication with clients. That is being open about your organisation’s business model and where offshoring fits into it.
2. Technology. There are four different aspects of technology that are of equal importance when it comes to offshoring success.
- IT managed services and support
Not every small business has their own in house IT support – or a regular advisor. In that case – you will be relying upon your offshoring provider to help you establish the IT requirements for your new staff. Engaging IT early in the process is crucial – as is having an offshoring partner that can strategically and technically guide you. Even those with excellent IT providers locally, will require the same level of expertise offshore.
- Collaboration & communication.
Telephones, email, slack, skype? What are the communication tools your team will need and how will they connect to your operation locally. Are these tools even permitted for use in your chosen BPO? This will define not only how you work with your remote team, but your clients. It also goes to the heart of culture. The more collaborative and open your teams are across all borders, the more productive and positive they and the culture will be.
- Safety and security.
Organisations must understand the full extent of the security and safety provisions for their remote staff, data and intellectual property. A great BPO would have a clear policy that clearly outlines all the measures they’ve adopted to ensure safety and security – technical or procedural. Understanding this, and communicating it to any concerned clients is also very important.
- Tools of the trade.
An aspect often taken for granted are the tools remote employees are given to do their jobs. Current, modern and business grade computers are required and should come standard in any offshore arrangement. Internet speeds, and 3+ redundancies should also be standard in order to ensure business continuity. All provided in a workspace that allows ample desk space.
A short discussion that covered a lot of ground, Staff Domain was thrilled to have the opportunity to talk offshoring with such esteemed professionals.
Tim Hasso, Assistant Professor of Accounting, Bond University.
Tim conducts research on accounting with a focus on corporate governance and the effect of globalisation and technology on the accounting profession. Most recently, he completed a study on the offshoring of audit work in Australia, a project that was funded by CPA Australia. He is currently extending this work by considering how small and medium-sized accounting firms are using offshoring as part of their business model. His professional experience is in entrepreneurship and finance, having founded and managed tech startups and advised venture capital firms on valuation-related matters. Prior to his appointment at Bond University, he held academic positions at Leuphana University of Lüneburg (Germany), University of Luxembourg (Luxembourg), and Queensland University of Technology.
Ben Rajah, Founder & Director, Staff Domain
A qualified management accountant with 30 years of experience, Ben has worked for leading Australian brands inhouse as well as in his own practice. His offshoring experience extends back to 2000 when he managed the offshoring of his employer’s production from Australia to China. Today, he helps small to medium businesses realise the full business potential of offshoring, and closely guides them through the process of building a high performance team in the Philippines.
Nick Vasilidis, ICT Specialist
Nick is an ICT leader with over 17 years of experience in the field. He has worked with clients large and small to establish IT & telecommunication systems that enable productivity and scale. With today’s cloud technology, he has helped many organisations set up to benefit from remote workers, global offices and offshoring set ups. Data and IP security are areas that he is extensively qualified in and passionate about. His insight and experience covers more than just the technical, but also the cultural and communication considerations required to ensure the acceptance and proper use of all technology.