The global business process outsourcing industry is continuously expanding due to the driving forces of innovation, new technologies and global competition. Businesses all over the world are encouraged by the benefits of innovative technologies which help overcome skill shortages, increased trade protectionism and political gridlock.
In 2018, outsourcing service providers continue to modernize their organization to effectively address market challenges, enhance products and services, and manage talent scarcity. The trends of 2018 will make up the future for the BPO industry.
Trend 1: Cost effective technological solutions
Throughout the years, business process outsourcing has provided businesses with the means to effectively cut costs and increase profits. With the increased influence of technologies such as process automation, social media and cloud computing BPOs can boost the efficiency of their services even further.
Trend 2: Multitasking to overcome skill shortage
BPO is no longer synonymous to call centers as it now provides services such as accounting, HR, web design and coding. Due to this evolution in services, the demand for highly skilled workers has also increased.
This increase in demand is mainly the result of the industry’s need to reduce prices for routine services. This has forced BPOs to invest in less expensive alternatives like AI and automation. To counter the threat of losing low skilled workers to technological advancements, governments and business leaders alike have started to educate their workforce to meet these demands.
Trend 3: Partnerships between startups and BPOs
Lately we have seen a big surge in startup growth. These emerging companies are typically under a lot of financial pressure and often look overseas for cost effective labor. Well-known startup outsourcers include Slack, AppSumo and Klout.
As such, startups and BPOs have become mutually dependent and this mutually beneficial relationship will strengthen in the years to come. BPOs provide startups with talent at lower costs to complete tedious tasks such as recruitment or trading. As a result the outsourced businesses have more resources to improve the quality of their work, utilize the most recent technologies and produce more revenue.
Trend 4: More transparency
A high level of transparency is required to maintain the trust between BPOs and vendors. Due to the highly competitive BPO environment, many organizations have adjusted their policies to prevent them from losing business to more trustworthy organizations.
More access to information also results in better partnerships between clients and suppliers, leads to more business innovation and better investment possibilities.
To make sure there is total transparency about outsourced services, governments are also expected to come out with more transparency policies for the outsourcing industry over the next few years.
Trend 5: Top outsourcing countries continue to grow
Leading outsourcing destinations such as India, the Philippines and Malaysia will continue to see growth in 2018, but will have to face a few challenges.
These economies can no longer rely solely on the call center industry as new job roles like cybersecurity, social media and mobile app development are taking the foreground. Warned by the rise of robotic process automation (RPA) taking over simple jobs, the workforce of these countries is estimated to upgrade their skills in robotics, AI, big data and machine learning within the next five years.
Trend 6: New outsourcing destinations in 2018
Oversaturation and reduction in business growth in the top 3 outsourcing countries has led Western European businesses to search for alternative cost-effective locations.
Due to the emergence of cloud computing, Eastern and Central Europe has seen a significant growth in the data center market since 2014. Countries such as Bulgaria, Romania or the Czech Republic are becoming hotspots for business process outsourcing and are poised to take away a chunk of business from the current top outsourcing countries.
The popularity of these new BPO destinations is mainly due to the combination of low salaries, knowledge of major European languages and the availability of developers with technical expertise.
Looking at the above trends, 2018 surely looks interesting and promising. However, enterprises will have to look at outsourcing partners who can give them a competitive and innovation edge. At the same time, outsourcing vendors will have to up their game if they want to leave their peers behind.
If you are looking to make the most of your business process outsourcing in 2018, be sure to contact us with your questions.