During the last couple of years, most industries have seen their share of business disruptions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, a historically tight labor market, ongoing supply issues and the highest inflation in 40 years. In these turbulent times, outsourcing is proving to be a cost-effective solution that helps companies navigate the labor market, reduce risk, maintain productivity and overcome many of the challenges they’re facing.
In this article we’ll go over the top five trends that will be steering the outsourcing industry this year and the next.
BPO: A Growing Market
Business processing outsourcing, or BPO, gives companies a competitive advantage by enhancing their flexibility and adaptability, reducing their operating costs, and allowing them to focus on core competencies, among other advantages. Because of these benefits, more organizations are choosing to outsource some of their business functions.
The global BPO market reached $245.9 billion in 2021 and will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.1% from 2022 to 2030, according to an April 2022 report by market research and consulting Grand View Research. The main market drivers are a greater focus on improving efficiency and business agility, decreasing operating costs and emphasizing core competencies.
Most Outsourced Tasks
Following are the most outsourced services in 2021 and so far in 2022:
- Information Technology
- Administrative Service
- Accounting and Finance
- Sales and Marketing
- Human Resources
- Legal Services
- Customer Support
- Tax Preparation
- Computer Programming
- Shipping and Logistics
- Web Design
- Healthcare Services
Top 5 Global BPO Trends
Demand for BPO is up. Several trends are shaping the way providers manage their services and what customers can expect going forward.
1. A Digital Outsourcing Model
For a while there, the outsourcing community was a bit slow to adopt new technology. But under the influence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and post-pandemic pressures, the BPO world is quickly catching up and embracing the tech revolution. Providers throughout the world are strategically incorporating new technologies into their business models.
Demand for cloud computing is increasing as the amount of data that needs to be stored builds up. Small and large businesses alike are flocking to the cloud to take advantage of its processing power, flexibility and scalability, among other benefits. Statista reports that 60% of all corporate data is stored in the cloud as of 2022.
The cloud computing market is experiencing explosive growth on the back of pandemic-related disruptions and emerging technologies. Its size falls somewhere between $250.04 billion and $445.3 billion and is projected grow at a CAGR of 15.7% to 17.9% and to reach $792 billion to $947.3 billion by 2026-8, according to separate studies by MarketsAndMarkets, Fortune
Business Insights and Grand View Research. Other studies show it surpassing $1 trillion by 2030.
Robotic process automation (RPA) is driving innovation in BPO, enabling providers to automate and optimize processes, manage their workloads more effectively and elevate their services. RPA uses artificial intelligence (AI) to perform routine, time-consuming tasks, freeing humans to work on more complex tasks. RPA offers numerous advantages, including greater speed and efficiency, cost savings, improved accuracy and scalability.
AI and Chatbots
BPO providers are using AI and chatbots to automate and speed up repetitive tasks and calculations, including some customer support tasks. Chatbots can operate as personal assistants and guide clients through various steps whenever they need help.
As BPO becomes more digitized, it also becomes more vulnerable to potential cyber attacks, and so the role of cybersecurity is more critical than ever. Outsourcing providers are stepping up their cybersecurity efforts to protect themselves and their clients.
2. Ensuring Business Continuity
The pandemic put business continuity in the spotlight. In outsourcing, clients that in the past preferred dealing with multiple providers are now pursuing strategic partnerships and longer contracts with fewer or one provider. Why? To avoid fluctuations and disruptions caused by switching providers and ensure stable BPO services.
3. A Cost-Reducing Strategy
Another effect of the pandemic has been a renewed interest in cutting costs, and BPO has much to offer in that area. Nowadays, companies must cope with wildly shifting customer expectations, labor shortages, supply chain disruptions and inflation. Therefore, reducing costs is a top priority for most clients.
In fact, during the early days of the pandemic, cost reduction was the top reason for outsourcing, according to a Deloitte’s 2020 Global Outsourcing Survey in which 70% of the surveyed companies said cost reduction was their main outsourcing objective.
4. Favoring Nearshore Outsourcing Over Offshore Outsourcing
In a post-pandemic world afflicted by lockdowns and travel restrictions, more companies are choosing nearshore over offshore outsourcing. Although nearshoring tends to be more costly, it attracts companies seeking to mitigate risks and keep business closer to home.
Nearshore outsourcing involves partnering with a service provider in a country located in the same region, while offshore outsourcing involves outsourcing to a faraway country. For example, a U.S. company could nearshore in Mexico or offshore in the Philippines.
5. Agility, Flexibility and Adaptability
Lockdowns, labor shortages, highly frustrated customers, tight visa and travel restrictions, volatile geopolitical and trade landscapes—these and other factors are driving BPO providers to become more agile, flexible and adaptable in 2022 and beyond. For many clients, these trump cost reduction benefits. To stay ahead, clients need to focus on remote services, access to the latest technologies, faster speed to market, and contracts that allow them to pivot as the business environment evolves.
BPO remains a valuable tool for organizations to achieve their strategic goals. At BMA Group we have the knowledge, experience, talent and technology to cater to your specific outsourcing requirements and provide a consistent level of excellence and commitment to your success. Contact us today to discuss your outsourcing needs.