How to help your business benefit from the On Demand Economy by 2020

We’ve all experienced the difficulty in finding and sourcing specialist service providers and consultants when we need them. It’s been like that for years. Most of us have little time to scan the market or network with new and emerging providers who want to meet us and show how their capabilities can benefit our business. Right?

When we do need to bring in a consultant, we needed them yesterday; we have little time to test the market for the best specialist provider available… with the expertise we need. We need someone now and unless we get a full-proof referral from someone in our trusted network, it’s just easier to reach back into one of our trusted consultants accumulated over the years to get them to do the work, whether or not they have the right capability to do it. Easy!

Traditional workforce structures have changed

Well times are changing. Organisations are increasingly demanding the best outcomes possible. Senior Executives are saying they will be closely reviewing traditional workforce structures we’re used to and most say they will be accessing more independent specialist consultants or service providers than ever before. We’re told we can expect to see more people opt out of traditional roles to use their expertise as independent or freelance workers, exercising more choice about when and who they work for. And where organisations eventually realise they need not carry specialist expertise in their business, because they can easily access it as and when needed through emerging technology platforms in this new economy.

Digital platforms will be central to accessing On Demand experts

We’re talking about the On Demand Economy. And supporting this new economy will be new digital platforms that make it easier for businesses and specialists to connect and do business together. Where you will be able to easily identify the type of consultant and their capability, credentials, services delivered, recommendations and endorsements – everything you need to complete due diligence and reduce the risk of engaging the wrong consultant even before you invite them to pitch for the work. And you won’t have to wait! These digital platforms, marketplaces, communities, solutions… call them what you like, are available to you now!

So, what will it take your business to make this shift from the old traditional way of working, to the online, digital, agile, on demand environment that will revolutionise the way businesses source and access these business services?

High demand services leading the “On Demand” charge

Certain types of specialist roles are already at the forefront of this new On Demand Economy. In fact they’ve probably been there for years. Human Resources, Business Transformation, Change and Project Management, Risk, ICT, Communications, Marketing…just some of the high demand contingent work or short term engagements delivered through independent consultants or service providers that are already in demand and will likely to grow exponentially over the next few years.

For this transition to the On Demand Economy to happen, certain business functions are going to be in the spotlight quickly and their need to control business processes scrutinised closely. They will be challenged to find the right balance between providing the organisation the agility needed to respond and access this new way of working versus holding on to tight control regimes they have put in place under the banner of good governance.

For example:

  • HR Functions will need to partner with the business areas to assist them access the specialist capability they need… on demand, when they need it.

  • IT Departments must respond by finding ways for business areas to access these new on demand cloud platforms… rather than find reasons not to.

  • Procurement teams will need to enable the organisation to quickly on board the expertise they need without the need for passing stage gates under complex and over governed sourcing practices that sometimes take weeks and months to navigate.

Further Reading

Here are some very informative articles I’ve found that will provide you a perspective of the opportunity and challenges that lay ahead of organisations as they grapple with the need for Agility over Control.