Edited by Robert DeFillippi, Alison Rieple and Patrik Wikström
Chapter 8: The application of design as an enabler to the disruptive delivery of innovation through both the offshore and outsourcing of new product creation to India
This chapter discusses the role of design as an enabler in both the offshoring and outsourcing of new product creation to India and how designers provide perspectives and behaviours that unlock the true potential within cross-functional teams in order to understand where design can add the most benefit. In this context it is important to first define what is meant by outsourcing and offshoring. Outsourcing here is defined as the contracting out of service activities by a client company, and offshoring is the relocation of those activities from the client home country to another, normally lower cost, country. In particular, I examine design in the context of the large Indian offshore outsourcing companies, including Wipro, Tata Consulting Services and HCL Technologies. Outsourcing of low value activities combined with the offshoring of these activities from the western economies to developing countries such as India has already seen disruption in how businesses operate and manage their costs through labour arbitrage and low cost infrastructure opportunities. However, it is the outsourcing and in particular offshoring of complete new product development from inception to commercialization that is seeing significant disruption to how technology companies operate as they endeavour to preserve cash flows while experimenting with new business models that enhance levels of innovation (Gruia, 2012). As a knock- on from this disruption in how innovation is delivered designers themselves are likely to see significant disruption in how they need to operate in order to define a new role as enabler and instigator of product creation in a globally spread development environment.
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