Business Process Outsourcing: 5 Important Trends in the Market
Outsourcing has been around since the 1980’s, but only recently has it become increasingly popular for companies to subcontract certain tasks to a third party. Generally, they choose to outsource non-core functions, or those that don’t offer the firm an advantage over competitors.
Human resources, accounting, and marketing are examples of non-core activities that business process outsourcing companies focus on.
Outsourcing vendors’ main functions – to provide specialised services for various clients – have thus far remained the same. However, many have adjusted to accommodate certain trends that could very well affect BPO providers’ price structure, delivery, and other processes.
What are these trends, and how have they affected outsourcing as a whole?
1. Not just about cost. While saving money to increase their profit margins is still a driving force, companies now look for outsourcing vendors who can quickly respond to new contractual needs. The ability to refine and adapt strategies to fit changing market conditions is also a necessity.
A recent study by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals revealed that the majority of clients outsource to improve their business performance. For them, the lower cost is an extra benefit.
2. More on strategy. In the past, functions that were outsourced were not considered core activities, nor were they considered strategic. Today, firms like Just Simply Outsourcing continue to handle non-core functions. However, they have also started handling increasingly strategic activities, such as Internet marketing.
This means that vendors and companies should be able to collaborate in order to come up with a strategy that enables both to have a hand on the outcome. Another benefit of this closer integration, if successful, is that the latter’s consumers get the same quality service.
3. Accessible to many. Cloud computing and using ‘the cloud’ to aid in delivering the needed services led to Business Process as a Service, or BpaaS. This actually eliminates the need for a large initial investment, not to mention infrastructure of any sort.
This means that more organisations can make use of outsourcing to improve their overall business model. BpaaS is also a versatile alternative that allows vendors to offer a host of services that ultimately will be tailored to fit their clients’ needs.
4. Mobile. Improvements in technology have enabled both companies and consumers to easily access the Web at any time. This has led to a preference for service that is personalised and open on multiple channels of communication.
Simply put, companies are more likely to partner with outsourcing vendors that they can contact in more than one way, such as through SMS, Skype, and email. The more mobile a company, the better their position to provide sought-after services.
5. Focuses on specialisation. Outsourced work has recently become not just strategic, but also of higher value, with emphasis on the quality of the work. Flexibility and adaptability are important, but that doesn’t mean companies will ‘make do’.
Instead, they will look for providers with specialised skills in certain areas, such as a company that offers outsourcing SEO services. In other cases, they outsource to multiple companies, subcontracting different tasks to each. However they do this, it’s clear that there is a shift from “cheaper is better” and towards “quality is better”.