Human Resource Virtualization

“Virtualization”, a buzz-word used for optimization / maximization of resource utilization for hardware, networks and applications. However, I would like to discuss another aspect of virtualization which I would term as “Human Resource Virtualization (HRV)”.
Sitting in my office (with a team of highly energetic professionals, thousands of miles away from the destinations where their skills are being utilized, valued and commercialized), I would define HRV as a phenomena facilitated by the flat-world which allows any individual, team or organization to become a part of one centralized skills-network ready to compete in a global marketplace.
And, for the records, my focus here is not alone on labor arbitrage, BPO sweat-shops and low-value service assembly lines. I am also talking about high-value skills like strategic management, project management, business research & analysis, cutting edge technology research and international business development.
I’ve always been of the opinion that intelligence, skills and leadership attitudes are not bounded by geographies. Infact, quite the contrary I believe that people (with strong educational backgrounds) in countries with tougher economic and business climate (aka 3rd world countries) can turn out to be better, more robust business leaders, technologists and strategists than those in the economically sound countries, when introduced to the flat world!
Welcome to the reality of the 21st Century!
Five HRV Factors:
Following are five key HRV factors (there can be many others):
1. Bulldozer of Globalization : The bulldozer of globalization will keep making this world flatter each passing day. The flatter the world, the less the hurdles in the global supply-chain of skilled labors, thus higher the virtualization effect.
2. Realization of Opportunity : The less-privileged countries should realize that their very troubled economic situation has in itself the recipe for success!Their governments should realize that their entrepreneurs (if facilitated just enough, not much) have the robustness, resilience and the hunger required to tilt the revenue-slope of the flat-world economy towards their native country’s direction. More the hunger and robustness, more the urge, more the tilt!
3. Knowledge Economy : As we move towards more and more knowledge-based global economy, HRV will get stronger and stronger as a driver for success. When manufacturing supply-chains can so successfully be globalized, knowledge creation can so naturally have global supply-chains where each brain can virtually reside throughout the geographies around the world producing and consuming knowledge for a better future!
4. Enterprise Agility : Every organization today, in order to dodge the threats and avail opportunities, (esp. in these tougher economic times) has to get agile one way or the other. HRV gives a definite answer by providing access to a completely untapped, on-demand, virtual resource market.
5. Unemployment Power : Most low-end economies have the highest unemployment rates. In an HRV world the more the HR supplies more the growth potential. (For example, if you can train unemployed people just enough to be able to web-market a product, support an Email Server or simply a Windows Vista installation, in an HRV world, imagine the potential!)

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