Robert James Raitt & Associates

Executive Search and Interim Leadership Talent


Disruption, Competitive Advantage, Agile Development and Digital Transformation  . . .

. . . phrases we often see on a slide deck, but when do you often see evolving businesses providing a real service or product that provides a simple operational and commercial advantage?

From our broad exposure to leadership and decision making in the board room, especially in the office of the CMO, CDO and CIO, we are seeing some subtle but significant shift in the propositions on offer when making out-sourcing/in-sourcing decisions.

Post financial crash, Brexit and ‘Trump, our clients are seeing an overly exaggerated positive return on quick decision making and agile approaches to sales, marketing and technology initiatives. So we decided to look deeper into how businesses are accelerating their growth, development of their offering/proposition and increasing customer acquisition.

Our findings were quite simple, pragmatic and not surprising.

Most of us will have had some involvement in a ‘Digital Transformation’ agenda or programme of change. Clients of all sizes from Corporates to Charities, SME’s to Central Government have seized on the realisation that focus on customer, B2B or B2C, and an agile approach to gaining feedback, insight and understanding of customer empathy in the real world leads to a quick refinement of the customer experience. Ultimately resulting in refinement of an organisations proposition in real time, via a continuous customer feedback ‘loop’.

The link to our observations on out-sourcing/in-sourcing lies in the tools and contractual changes being used to act so promptly and transparently with ‘the customer’.

Whether the service or product you are developing is software related, human capital or physically engineered, to react quickly on a project by project basis often needs the engagement of contractors or an out-sourced arrangement. These have historically led to escalating costs, lack of control, loss of IP and higher failure rates in launching an offering/product. What we have seen as we’ve emerged out of the western financial banking crisis is an emergence of a new type of outsource contract.

The capability to build a team, development product/service and launch in just a few weeks or even days without the hiring costs, time lag of on boarding and then having to sometimes re-skill and re-engineer following customer feedback/critique just isn't practical. Commercially, though hiring contractors has some short term merit, it’s not viable long term and as a result we’ve seen the emergence of what I’d term a ‘Build, Operate and Transfer’ model in various out-sourcing sectors. A good example is in digital app development where build test and customer trial cycles have now condensed into just weeks. Being able to engage a team within a week or two, build and test, then trial with a customer yet maintain your IP and have the luxury of being able to Transfer the development team from the outsourcer back to your employment at the push of a button has given early stage businesses and corporates alike a significant commercial advantage and tremendous agility.

All without loosing IP, plus the benefit of negating contractor and permanent hiring costs, yet giving an option to adopt/transfer a complete team, tried and tested, at a later date if desired.

We are constantly introducing our clients to each other to share experiences and help each other where there is no commercial clash or interest.

Do get in touch if you are a CEO, COO or CFO and would like a deeper insight onto our findings or if you are a CMO, CIO/CTO or CDO (Digital) leader faced with these challenges and would like to connect with/speak with liked minded individuals.  

Early May, 2017 we will be holding some round table events specifically to share learnings and explain more about the ‘Build, Operate and Transfer’ model and will have the CTO from one of Europes more disruptive outsourcing operations at hand to take questions! 

Places for May 2017 will be limited so please get in touch asap for more information.

Kind regards

Simon Raitt


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The pace of 'change' . . .

Disruption, Competitive Advantage, Agile Development and Digital Transformation  . . .

. . . phrases we often see on a slide deck, but when do you often see evolving businesses providing a real service or product that provides a simple operational and commercial advantage?

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