The days of tapping into pools of offshore IT talent without having an in-depth knowledge of what processes occur during recruitment and project work periods are long gone. Visibility and integration in the supply chain are now in line with the ‘golden goose’ of financial opportunities provided by offshore outsourcing. To ensure that we don’t misunderstand and misuse the opportunities that offshore IT talent has (and accidentally kill the goose that laid the golden egg to get to its source), sustainability in the digital sector is an utmost priority.
So what is sustainable sourcing and how does it relate to the digital sector?
Sustainable sourcing relates mostly to three factors: social, environmental and financial. It takes into account what must be regulated, protected or encouraged during procurement of products and services in the supply chain. For example, on a social level, the idea of diversity, inclusion and human rights at the workplace take center stage. This means that supply chain leaders’ quest for great talent and quality should never come to blows with the idea of sustainable sourcing. After all, why should quality or financial costs matter more than the ability to have a consistent pool of talent, that if treated fairly on an economic and even environmental level, will never dry out? Global supply chain governance takes these matters into consideration and provides guidelines and regulations during the transmission of products and services on a global level between firms through the entire system. In such a case, efficiency is the golden egg, and sustainable sourcing is the hand that feeds it.
In the digital sector, the skills gap is a considerable challenge as the supply of talent rarely matches the demand. The digital boom in 2020 seems like it’s here to stay, particularly in developing economies, and the need for IT talent from them makes impact sourcing an investment worth much more than its weight in gold. A focus on the total cost of ownership, rather than a narrow view of unit price and cost reduction, can provide a longer road of investment and savings. While data might be the holy grail for digital companies, talentism is the goldsmith. This view of human talent and the opportunities for it to evolve into an ecosystem of its own go hand-in-hand with sustainable sourcing in the digital sector. The digital sector with its enormous growth potential needs a similar measure of growth in terms of talent – talent that must be sourced sustainably for it ever to survive its incubation period in the nest.
Do IT companies really benefit from it?
The relationship factor in the supply chain between clients and suppliers could never be more vital. A tech hub ecosystem becomes not only a source of value from its competition but from the cooperative capacities and the management systems associated with them. Sustainable digital sourcing ensures that value continues to be pumped into the organic matter of this ecosystem, while feeding from it at the same time. Needless competition must give way to valuable competition. The goal of spurring innovation in emerging economies through sustainable digital sourcing could never be more satisfying.