ChannelLife New Zealand logo
Industry insider news for New Zealand's technology resellers
Story image

Service providers take note: an insight into the future of work

By Sean Mitchell
Wed 27 Jun 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Article written by Mavenlink co-founder and CEO Ray Grainger

According to the Kellogg Institute, the digital revolution has created a power shift from sellers to buyers, driven by advancing technology that provides buyers with unprecedented access. Where once they had limited choice, now they have abundant choice. Where once they had limited information about sellers, now buyers can read others’ experiences at the click of a button. Where once innovation was slow, now it is disruptive.

We know what this kind of power shift can do to a market. Since the early 2000s, eCommerce has rocked the retail industry. Amazon crippled big box retailers; Uber has disrupted transport; Airbnb is impacting on hotel chains.

The winds of change are driven by innovation in business models that comes from the power shift from sellers to buyers. While this disruption has had a strikingly similar pattern across consumer industries, the impact on business has been less visible and slower to transpire. Until now.

Today, the industries that serve businesses with professional or creative services are in the midst of a similar period of transition. Buyers or clients are demanding greater speed, quality and agility from service providers. Providers are under pressure from increased competition, compressed delivery timelines and tighter margins. Services firms are finding themselves needing to adapt — or risk being left behind.

Reacting to the situation, services leaders are designing new operating models that allow them to better connect, orchestrate and optimise their businesses.

Globalisation of services

Until recently, businesses valued owning their resources above all else. They hired and managed large workforces, assembled their own operational and recruiting capabilities, and built and maintained all of their technology resources. Organisations grew large in order to have more control over resource availability.

Yet today’s speed, complexity, growing competition and the global nature of business have rendered this approach inadequate. The skills required are much more varied, and the demand is inconsistent. As a result, large resource pools of specific skills can be a detriment.

Today, a new model is emerging. Organisations striving to be more agile and scalable are finding ways to best leverage networks of external resources.

The potential benefits of this new model are clear. A network of service providers allows a business to tap the right skills and resources at the right moment, without the larger investments of time and costs associated with recruiting, training and managing resources internally. Organisations can stay lean and focus on their core business functions while leveraging highly specialised expertise. The model maximises flexibility and speed while optimising costs. With this new model gaining traction in every industry and every geography, it’s a great time to be a service provider. The globalisation of services represents a massive, $3 trillion opportunity and is growing rapidly.

Yet there are challenges inhibiting service providers from realizing this full potential. Service providers themselves are experiencing intense pressure to meet the increasing demand of their buyers,

Technology - the great enabler

Historically, technology has poorly served the service provider industry. Providers have had to operate within fragmented business environments where critical data stays isolated in CRM, resourcing, project management, collaboration, accounting and other systems. They are stuck using old, inadequate tools.

Getting out of these siloed systems is critical. Service providers must move beyond spreadsheets and email if they are to thrive in the fast-paced, hyper-connected, hyper-specialised world of the Service Level Economy.

Advanced technology is beginning to offer everything services firms need to succeed. They can grow and scale confidently, facilitate the management and mobilisation of resources, and expand their networks quickly while accessing the specific skills and resources needed — all on a project-by-project basis.

In the future, service providers will rely on a single, unified Operational System of Record that packages up the processes, frameworks, guidelines, analytics and insights demanded by the Service Level Economy. The adoption of this system will significantly improve business agility, elevate financial performance, and enhance operational execution.

Furthermore, it may even potentially help firms to stand out from the competition, as buyers recognise these sellers’ commitment to best practices and to meeting their expectations. Buyers will want to work with providers they see adopting this new, more transparent, more trustworthy philosophy of business.

Vison of the future

My vision of the future, the Service Level Economy, is one that demands connectedness and flexibility. This fuels the need to collaborate. A digital infrastructure evolves to facilitate better business relationships in which providers work together to serve clients beyond the capabilities of any single participant.

Based on their success, buyers consume a larger volume of higher value services from these networked providers. In a ground-breaking Deloitte report, visionary Eamonn Kelly explores how this dynamic rearrangement of business is dramatically reshaping the core structure of the economy:

Increasingly, forward-thinking operations managers are looking to optimise performance across value webs that span and connect whole ecosystems of suppliers and collaborators. Properly activated, these value webs can deliver superior results across multiple dimensions—reducing costs, improving service levels, mitigating risks of disruption, and delivering feedback-fuelled learning and innovation.

Supply chain leaders who are able to manage more effectively in this new environment will benefit from greater agility, responsiveness and resilience.

Kelly also foreshadows the value firms will see upon dissolving their business boundaries. As it becomes increasingly possible for firms to deploy and activate assets they neither own nor control, to engage and mobilise larger and larger numbers of participants, and to facilitate much more complex coordination of their expertise and activities, the art of the possible is expanding rapidly.

I believe these ecosystems of suppliers and collaborators are one of the biggest transformations of our lifetime, and the benefits will extend beyond traditional business outcomes.

Finally, how we are going to get there? The critical piece that will enable these ecosystems is the establishment of trust. Once buyers have the confidence that sellers will continually meet their expectations, business ecosystems will proliferate and begin to orchestrate complex and mission-critical work. It’s the service level economy that accelerates this evolution of business into dynamic and collaborative ecosystems. And this will transform work as we know it.

The emergence of the cloud has profoundly impacted how people, ideas, and systems connect. We are finally ready to realise the potential of the service level economy. Service providers will support client needs better while optimising their own processes. All parties — from buyers and prime orchestrators to subcontractors — will have greater visibility and more granular control of their projects, people and financials.

Increasingly and with greater speed and confidence, buyers worldwide will find and consume hyper-specialised services and support. Trust, above all else, will be the primary driver of success.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
SnapLogic teams up with meetmagic for charity and children
SnapLogic has announced its partnership with meetmagic, an online Australian platform that combines business and philanthropy.
Story image
Google Cloud
Google Cloud to open first cloud region in NZ - among others
Google Cloud has announced plans to bring three new cloud regions, one each in New Zealand, Malaysia and Thailand.
Story image
Dark web
Beware the darkverse and its cyber-physical threats
A darkverse of criminality hidden from law enforcement could quickly evolve to fuel a new industry of metaverse-related cybercrime.
Story image
Attacks on gaming companies more than double over past year
The State of the Internet report shows gaming companies and gamer accounts are at risk, following a surge in web application attacks post pandemic.
Story image
Red Hat
Red Hat announces 2022 awards winners for A/NZ region
Red Hat recently acknowledged Australia and New Zealand partners with its annual awards, highlighting partners across various categories.
Story image
Financial results
Jade Software’s plan to get back to surplus in 2022
Jade Software has released its latest financial report, revealing that the company has kept its loss low from $567,000 in FY 2020 to just $153,000 in FY 2021.
Story image
Claroty launches new cloud-based industrial cybersecurity platform
The company says Claroty xDome is the industry's first solution to deliver the ease and scalability of SaaS without compromising on visibility, protection, and monitoring controls.
Story image
Ricoh and NZ tech company Tether initiate new reseller partnership
A new reseller partnership between Ricoh and NZ tech company Tether will focus on monitoring, hybrid work and air quality solutions.
Story image
Microsoft unveils two new security products to help reduce attack surfaces
The products are set to give companies deeper insights into threat actor activity and help them successfully navigate the changing threat landscape.
Story image
Chorus announces Hyperfibre sponsorship deal with NZ Esports
Chorus has put its support behind New Zealand's Esports community with a newly announced three-year Hyperfibre sponsorship deal with NZ Esports.
Story image
Wave Audio delivers ultimate immersion with new wireless earbuds
Wave Audio, one of Australia's best new audio brands, has recently released a set of landmark noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds, the Immersive Pro.
Story image
Mergers and Acquisitions
Netskope acquires Infiot, delivers integrated SASE platform
Converged SASE platform provides AI-driven zero trust security and simplified, optimised connectivity to any network location or device, including IoT.
Story image
10 Minute IT Jams
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Heidrick & Struggles
Graham Kittle joins us today to discuss how the company is helping organisations bring about change within their business.
Story image
More than a fifth of cybersecurity teams ban the use of public WiFi
Verizon’s fifth annual Mobile Security Index report has revealed a continued rise in significant cyberattacks in the last year involving a mobile/IoT device.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
The essential guide to digital transformation by SolarWinds
Digital transformation is a buzzword thrown around all the time by companies, but what does it actually mean and why is it important? SolarWinds breaks it down.
Story image
Fortinet unveils compact firewall for hyperscale data centres, 5G networks
"Fortinet’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in security performance has yielded the most powerful compact firewall yet."
Story image
New Zealand
2degrees announces appointments to newly established board
2degrees has announced Liz Coutts as the board chair, while Russell Stanners and Kathy Meads join her as directors.
Story image
Fortinet reports second quarter 2022 financial results
“We delivered strong revenue and billings growth in the second quarter driven by an increase in the number of transactions larger than one million dollars."
Story image
Data Protection
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from SearchInform
Alexey Pinchuk joins us today to discuss the role the company plays in helping organisations manage risk and provide better security outcomes.
Story image
Why security needs to shape your journey to the cloud
It's estimated that 80% of workloads could be in the cloud in the next few years. How can you make all that data secure?
Story image
Workplace design a crucial factor for better employee experience - report
The key to a successful workplace could be its design, according to research from Ecosystm and Neat.
Story image
Nozomi Networks Labs identifies impacts on 2022 threat landscape
Nozomi Networks’ latest research finds that wiper malware, IoT botnet activity, and the Russia/Ukraine war have had the biggest impact on the threat landscape in 2022 so far.
Story image
Hands-on review: James Donkey RS4 Knight Wireless Gaming Keyboard
I have always liked mechanical keyboards, and this is no exception. I find the action much easier to use than the modern keyboards with limited travel.
Story image
Google NZ numbers show strong comprehensive profit increase
The latest financial report from Google New Zealand Limited has revealed an increase in total comprehensive profit of over $NZD 7 million.
Story image
OfficeMax NZ sees significant growth through Seismic partnership
OfficeMax New Zealand has announced it has seen a significant increase in customer and sales confidence as a result of Seismic’s digital enablement software.
Story image
Norton research finds NZ threat landscape diversifying on social media
Norton's quarterly report has highlighted the seriousness of the threat landscape in New Zealand.
Story image
Tablets & laptops
Hands-on review: Xencelabs Graphic Display Tablet
Xencelabs seemed to show up out of nowhere on the market. I had no idea who they were or what they were about, but I was very intrigued.
Story image
Financial results
Facebook NZ financial report reveals notable revenue increase
Revenue from contracts with customers increased by $NZD 1,089,292 compared to 2020's figures.
Story image
Home Entertainment
Hands-on review: TCL 65″ C835 Mini LED 4K Google TV
We introduce you today to a TV that brings the height of immersion to your viewing experience: The TCL 65″ C835 Mini LED 4K Google TV.
Story image
VisualCortex and i-PRO partner for enhanced APAC deployments
VisualCortex and i-PRO have partnered to facilitate enterprise-wide Computer Vision technology deployments in APAC.
Story image
Wave Audio spices up portfolio with first ever party speaker
Australian-based pioneers Wave Audio are enhancing their extensive range of groundbreaking new audio products by adding one of the most versatile speakers on the market to their growing portfolio.
Story image
2degrees unveils eSIM functionality for selected devices
2degrees has enabled eSIM functionality to work with a variety of Apple, Samsung and Oppo devices, including a range of iPads.
Story image
Tablets & laptops
Chromebook and tablet shipments see another rapid decline for the year
According to research from Canalys PC Analysis, Chromebook and tablet shipments have fallen for the fourth quarter in a row for Q2 of 2022.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Cohesity, Equinix, IDC, Proofpoint & Xero
We round up all job appointments from July 29 - August 5, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
BNZ launches first tap-on-phone point of sale app in NZ
Bank of New Zealand has launched BNZ Pay, an innovative mobile app for retailers that transforms an Android device into a contactless payment terminal. 
Story image
Exclusive: Inde provides innovative solutions across the tech sector
Inde likes to call its approach the 'power of the collective', which essentially means that if a client approaches the company with a problem, they'll get the team's collective insight to help drive the best outcome.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
Pitney Bowes launches rebranded digital visitor management offering in A/NZ
Pitney Bowes has launched Smart Access Management (SAM), its rebranded digital visitor and contractor management offering in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Document Management
TrustRadius gives M-Files two document management awards
TrustRadius has recognised M-Files with both a 2022 Best Feature Set and a 2022 Best Relationship award in document management.
Story image
Spectralink DECT devices now integrated with Microsoft Teams SIP Gateway
Spectralink DECT devices are now integrated with Microsoft Teams SIP Gateway to help create better results for business-critical frontline workers.
Story image
LG Electronics
LG Electronics’ revenue in NZ grows by 57% in FY 2021
The New Zealand branch of LG Electronics Australia's total revenue shot up by nearly NZD $45 million reaching a total of $123.7 million for FY 2021.
Story image
Web application firewall
Radware recognised in KuppingerCole’s 2022 Leadership Compass report
Radware has been named a Product, Innovation, Market and Overall Leader in the 2022 KuppingerCole Leadership Compass report for Web Application Firewalls.