Seventhman Blog

  1. Drawbacks of IT Outsourcing Revealed

    "IT outsourcing"With the sluggish economy and ceaseless debates around the subject, one can only wonder what outsourcing in this age of uncertainty really means.  Every company these days are trying to make ends meet on nearly every level, where they strive to bring value to their business.  While outsourcing may have been blamed countless times to the cause of unemployment, let us not forget that outsourcing is merely a business strategy helping an organization, large or small, survive and thrive .  To maximize productivity and minimize cost is not an easy fete, but it doesn’t mean a perfect solution either.

    Realities of IT Outsourcing You Need to Consider

    Despite the fact that IT Outsourcing is growing each year, even in places like China where English skills need to scale higher, many are still outsourcing some or most operations run by their IT Departments.  Whether be it a permanent or temporary fix to bridge the gap among cost, quality and manpower – outsourcing may seem like a salvation to many, that is if you are not too overeager to miss the real cost of outsourcing IT.  For example, if you are to move your IT functions offshore, you need to consider travel cost to the country of your choice, not to mention, other costs that may involve directly ( or indirectly ) with running your operations there.

    Calculating Beyond the Real Cost

    While you may think it will cost you less in the long run to get a third party service provider, you may have to consider the time factor when it comes to their familiarity with how your system and network really works.  If not, that can mean additional costs in training.  Then, there will be cases when you need something done a.s.a.p. and your outsourced IT provider must be inept to deal with issues right away, or you can suffer delay time which is not really good for any business.  Whether you’re outsourcing locally or offshore, you have to consider the worst case scenario to prepare yourself for the unexpected, just in case.  The problem is that plenty of contracts are sugar-coated and misleading, and no matter how urgent your needs may be, it helps to see a bigger picture that includes the real cost + long term benefits of having an outsourcing partnership.

    Outsourcing the Human Liability

    What drives companies to outsource these days is having access to first-rate IT expertise and resources that will yield more results and cost less.  Still, one must consider that anything, or anyone, can become a liability.  It does make sense to have your fine print well-defined, as well as backups, in case data is lost or stolen.  Yet, the question here is how much will it cost you when downtime happens because of these?  Will it cost you more if your team hasn’t worked for an entire day ( or week ) because the system crashed?  Is your team motivated enough to continue with your cause, efficiently?  Have you even considered the impact of cultural barriers that may lead to communication gaps?

    You may argue that any business is a gamble and it comes with risks.  Keeping a close eye is just a start and no matter how providers may offer free consultations, it’s only a sales pitch.  It will always come down to long term benefits and what outsourcing will really cost your IT dollars.  Choose wisely!

  2. Thinking Fast, Building Faster with a Lean Business Model

    "lean business strategy"You may have been doing everything in order to market your products and/or services, and yet, you still wonder why your efforts seem to be in vain.  There’s an adage that goes, ‘if what you sell is good enough, it will sell itself..’ and just how true this is can only be measured by one word: Quality.  But, in a world where digital word of mouth is amplified more than ever, just how can you create a winning strategy to build that sense of trust among your leads, prospects and customers?

    When Less is Truly More

    Whatever you are offering out there, know that your product or service exists to provide a real solution to a real problem.  Take note that I’m highlighting the word ‘real’ – which is something that everyone is looking for these days, from testimonials from real people to authentic information in your website.  Gone were the good ol’ days when your home page looks like a digital brochure that people can navigate through; you have to connect with your audience and learn new perceptions in this social media age.  But, what’s more important is learning how to segregate the clutter from what’s necessary and when you do, you will be just a few steps away from creating an irresistible product that speaks for itself.

    Building Value and Cost Containment: When Going Lean Matters

    These days, your customers’ voice matters more than ever and involving them in creation of new products/services may seem appropriate… and when you do build it, they might want something else.  So, how can you accelerate the brainstorming process for your business to grow faster in this age of uncertainty?  The answer may just lie in going lean – as in, the Lean Business Model Canvas.  Finding a niche is crucial as it gives you a chance to focus on a specific target market.  You don’t want to be everywhere serving everybody.  This will mean you have to get the best bang for your buck with a productive process wherein you can maximize creation of value for your customers with fewer resources, therefore, eliminating waste.

    Developing Strategic Partnerships with a One-Page Plan

    The lean business model is not only ideal for startups or small businesses, but it can also be applied to outsourcing as well.  The key here is to optimize technologies, manpower, assets to provide value-added products and services to customers.  Think of it this way, customers are smarter these days and to meet their ever-changing demands, you have to respond in a lightning speed where high quality + lower cost = productivity.  Many may have this misconception that this lean concept is only suitable for manufacturing and that’s not really the case.  It may take time getting used to shifting from traditional business models, no doubt.  But, the beauty of this model lies in its simplicity and flexibility that help you identify what matters most to your business right now, in just a page.  You can easily identify your key partners, key activities, key resources, cost structure, customer relationships, customer segments, channels, revenue streams, and value proposition – and arrange them accordingly as you can see in this lean business model canvas template.  Now, that’s giving you a bird’s eye-view, minus the complications of drafting a 30-page business plan.  You can then create a flow of process and methods to achieve a viable product, minus waste, and perfect that value you’re creating.

    At the end of the day, the only way you can innovate ‘innovation’ is through continuous improvement and this time, you may simply have to go lean… and mean.