Outsourcing makes sense.
It’s a good business strategy that improves efficiency, cuts costs, speeds up product development, and allows companies to focus on their core competencies. Outsourcing gives client companies access to expertise and productivity not available in house.
This cost-saving strategy has been evolving and changing the dynamics of business processes for more than 20 years, accelerating when large companies in the US, UK and Europe began to outsource their business processes to India, Philippines, South America and other countries.
In 2019, we will see further innovation and development, particularly in the areas of data security, cloud technology, and social responsibility.
Here are five trends that will influence and transform the BPO industry in 2019:
1. FOCUS ON DATA SECURITY
Data security tops the list of priorities for many companies. New technology makes security and privacy fears unavoidable. This concern will greatly influence outsourcing strategy in 2019.
Security risks are expected to increase as telematics and the Internet of Things (IoT) become more prevalent in consumer and commercial products, potentially exposing companies to devastating cyber attacks. A focus on privacy and security will give specialized security business process outsourcing (BPO) companies a competitive advantage.
2. AWAY FROM MULTIPLE VENDORS
As companies deal with the costs and logistics of managing multiple BPO suppliers or vendors, they will take steps to move toward a centralized system.
One of the main concerns of using multiple vendors is that project delivery can be threatened by delays caused by a single vendor. Many multinational companies are focusing on developing their IT capabilities into a single service center serving all internal departments, pushing BPO companies to adapt. This trend is expected to boost tailored solutions
3. UP IN THE CLOUD
Technology will continue being a trendsetter in the outsourcing market. This year we’ll see more production workloads move to the cloud.
Despite security concerns and some companies taking a wait-and-see approach, adopting cloud technology will enable BPO companies to improve and innovate their service models, giving them a competitive edge over those avoiding the cloud. The future of IT data centers will comprise many platforms, and chief information officers are bound to experiment with cloud options such as Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.
4. SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE OUTSOURCING
Socially Responsible Outsourcing (SRO), also known as Impact Sourcing, is a business process delivery model built on a foundation of social responsibility that will become better known in 2019.
SRO focuses on delivering quality service at significantly lower costs and with lower employee attrition rates, while employing socioeconomically disadvantaged workers in BPO centers all over the world. Impact Sourcing employs about 240,000 people globally, and that number is expected to grow as corporations aim to reach their diversity and social responsibility goals.
5. ROBOTIC PROCESS AUTOMATION (RPA)
RPA is delivering on its promise of cost reduction, increased productivity and quality process execution–meaning, RPA is probably here to stay. In 2019, BPOs should be ready to implement RPA as part of their intelligent business process management suite.
RPA involves the use of software robots capable of replacing humans for mundane, repetitive tasks commonly found in BPO. After exhausting opportunities to lower labor costs, more BPO companies are focusing on building automation into their solutions, integrating RPA into their IT service delivery. This trend means clients and vendors will face the significant challenge of managing the touch points between automation functions and jobs performed by humans, leading to new, more flexible outsourcing agreements.