Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Services Shift - Book Overview

The book, "Services Shift" is organized into eight sections , an introduction and seven chapters:

Introduction – provides motivation for the book (hey!!! this is a big deal), some definitional things like the difference between outsourcing and offshoring, introduces the authors, and provides an overview of the book.

Chapter 1: Globalization of Services
What, Why, and When – this chapter digs deeper into the “services shift” phenomenon and raises some issue most readers will not have thought of. We explore the shift at two levels – industries and companies.

Chapter 2: The Economics and Drivers of Offshoring
Provides a framework for analyzing and understanding offshoring opportunities and discusses why the globalization of services is happening now.

Chapter 3: Making It Real
Presents a framework to help managers establish realistic sourcing goals and the difference between offshoring “tasks” vs. offshoring “processes.” The core of the chapter is taking the reader through a detailed, eight step process that firms must go through to move activities offshore.

Chapter 4: The Supply Side
Discusses what is out there. It begins with an overview of the outsourcing universe (size, growth rates, types of firms), provides a brief history of the sector, and then presents a typology of business models.

    This chapter is complemented by three detailed appendices that profile various services exporting countries. One big lesson is that offshoring is truly becoming a global phenomenon, not just an India phenomenon.

Chapter 5: Shifting Skill Sets
Explores what all this means for how you manage and organize your firm. A move to offshoring requires very different skill sets than the traditional, all-in-one-place firm. The chapter draws heavily on a series of interviews we did with leading firms that have pursued offshoring.

Chapter 6: Policy Implications
While most of the book takes a firm-level, managerial view, Chapter 6 adopts a public policy perspective. We first explore what developing countries are doing to promote services exports. The second half of the chapter looks at policy issues for developed countries. Should rich countries work to slow the services shift, allow it to happen while working to mitigate the effects on those displaced, or allow it to happen with no particular policy response.

Chapter 7: Looking Ahead
Lays out seven predictions for how the services shift will unfold over the next decade.

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So, a question for the readers. This post lays out the structure of the book. Have I missed any important items? Have I overemphasized any? Let me know what you think in the comments. The services shift is a huge and important trend. We couldn't tackle every issue, but let’s get some more on the table.

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