1. Talent Management
The innovators are creating workplaces that foster innovation and collaboration. They give employees permission to experiment and fail, says Karthik, “with some even setting up internal venture capital-type arrangements to fund ideas.” They also collaborate closely with their parent companies on talent management, for example, pairing mentors from headquarters with workers offshore. They are focused on training and re-training existing employees and “developing specialized in-house training programs to inculcate specific digital skills,” Verma says. The partner with educational institutions and look to other industries for new hires (for example, recruiting from digital agencies for social media expertise). Finally, they create distinct compensation programs and discrete career paths for employees engaged in traditional and digital services. “There are instances of some best-in-class global in-house centers establishing specialist accelerated career paths for top performers in digital, offering compensation premium and stock options,” says Verma.
2. Startup Partnerships
Leading captive centers are active in the startup ecosystem, participating in corporate accelerator programs, developing intrapreneurship programs, and creating direct commercial engagements. “Key drivers for these partnerships include access to new ideas and talent pool, acceleration of own technology and higher speed of innovation and branding as an innovation-driven organization,” says Karthik.
There are creative ways for captive centers to support the startup community, such as providing infrastructure support (the use of offices or technology infrastructure), guidance and mentorship, or direct financial support. This involvement with emerging vendors and service providers can help the captive center better manage talent, increase agility, and reduce go-to-market time, says Verma.
3. Vendor Collaboration
Captive centers that seek to be more involved in enterprise digital transformation don’t go it alone. They’re partnering with specialized technology vendors (for example, robotics or AI vendors) and traditional service providers (with capabilities in mobility applications development, say) other vendors for more ready access to talent and technology.
The offshore captive of a leading UK-based bank began collaborating with local service providers in order to access digital talent that could hit the ground running. It has also forged alliances with technological vendors to increase agility and reduce go-to-market time. Another global in-house center is partnering with a vendor to deploy robotic process automation across several processes, improving agility and reducing operational risk.
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