Conclusions from the “Where is the Polish outsourcing / GBS industry really going” debate organized by the “Outsourcing Magazine” periodical.
An elite group comprising 15 GBS / SSC / BPO leaders to include GBS / SSC managing directors, HR and IT directors, as well as representatives of recruitment companies, the real estate industry, the Polish Investment and Trade Agency and the Warsaw School of Economics Professor came together on 9 February in Warsaw’s Restauracja Polska Różana to discuss the key industry trends, challenges and controversies. The debate was hosted by Maciej Piwowarczyk and Marek Grodziński. The two hours were taken up by an occasionally heated, but nonetheless undoubtedly constructive, discussion on the following subject areas: technology, processes, people and customer satisfaction.
The discussion on employees, i.e. how to turn into success the high expectations held by the youngest generations present on the labour market, how to effectively contribute to evolution of our education system and thus lead to emergence of graduates better prepared for the expectations of contemporary business, and lastly whether our industry will ultimately be able to successfully embrace the 50+ generation, gave rise to the most emotions. Additionally, the issue of employing foreigners, and, in the broader context, the need to amend the labour code as to align it with today’s reality, was also touched upon. Naturally, the issue of increases in employee costs as planned by the government was certain to surface when talking about people, and as it is seen as a risk to industry growth in the coming years, it has led to a full consensus round the table like no other subject debated.
Furthermore, the future of the industry in Poland was also reflected upon. It has been growing at a pace of approx. 20% per annum for a number of years now, and as according to various analyses, labour arbitration will become obsolete in the next 8-12 years, the so-called value proposition aspect needs to evolve as to enable the industry to move away from the cost-only based approach. As far as any controversies were concerned, the discussion touched upon the subject of how to avoid spoiling the Polish market, which can result from e.g. a) inflating salaries, in particular when establishing start-up operations, b) giving irresponsible statements in the media and within our organizations promising the impossible either in respect of artificially low salaries as to ensure growth at all cost or by telling “tall tales” regarding e.g. the ability to implement full automation within only a few weeks. The conclusion here was that as an industry we will have to continue to strengthen relations through debates such as the one organized by “Outsourcing Magazine” and using the platform of the already established associations such as ABSL, Aspire and SSON. “Take responsibility for what you say” should be the motto for all our industry leaders.
And of course the topic of robotics arose as the final discussion point. Using the support of the data provided by SSON, stating that as few as 7% of organizations succeeded in implementing automation in 2017, we have dispelled the myth that robotics is now as common as dirt and it is high time to move onto the subject of artificial intelligence. The verdict was that automation continues to be a priority for all of us, however, many years will have to pass before we are able to say that we are dealing with a revolution here.
The above subjects, as well as many others, will be addressed in far more details on the pages of our magazine, with the Q1 issue coming in March 2018.