Business process outsourcing (BPO) is nothing new, but with automation, AI, and other technologies constantly improving, the landscape of the BPO industry is changing. Businesses have long been outsourcing less crucial or tedious processes to other companies, or even other countries, for years. It’s not uncommon, for example, for a business to trust a task like large scale printing to a company like Mines Press. There are also industry-specific BPO companies, and they’ll need to evolve in different ways to keep up with increasing demand. The finance and accounting outsourcing trends 2019, for example, are likely different from rising outsourcing trends in the medical industry. The following are just a few BPO trends you can expect to see on the rise this year and beyond.
Drifting From the Single-Vendor Approach
It’s becoming much more difficult for a single BPO company to offer all the outsourcing services that a business needs in an increasingly diversified world. This means that businesses are looking for multiple outsourcing partners that specialize in high demand areas. Outsourcing companies will no longer be able to rely on doing as much as possible and will instead need to focus on how they can benefit a specific group of partners. For example, looking at some of the biggest challenges IT departments face shows how they are having to adapt to new environments and learn to approach cultural barriers to expand their businesses. More businesses will begin outsourcing their non-crucial processes to multiple BPO companies, all of which will have to adapt to a single client.
Increased Reliance on Automation and AI
Workforce automation has been a scary concept for many since its inception, and it may be for good reason. While a robot coming for your job may still seem like science fiction, some researchers predict that nearly 40% of jobs in the United States could be done by machines by the 2030s. While BPO companies thrive on being able to perform jobs for less, machines and software can perform jobs for virtually no cost once they’re fully implemented.
The BPO industry need not fear obsolescence, however. While machines are great at performing repetitive tasks and looking for patterns—jobs that frequently get outsourced—they’re not so great at decision making or advanced functions. BPO companies will still need employees to oversee the work done by machines and to handle tasks that automation is less suited for.
New Standards of Trust
While businesses have largely always been comfortable outsourcing their non-critical functions to an outsourcing company, there is a shift towards greater trust being placed in BPOs. As the success of the BPO industry continues to increase, businesses begin to rely on the services of BPOs more and more. The role of outsourcing companies is becoming more of an advisory one as their clients begin to seek business expertise in addition to the usual services. This means it will become more common for businesses to outsource even core operations in order to stay competitive. Delivering valuable service and expertise is becoming just as important for outsourcing companies as cutting costs.
Increased Reliance on Cloud Technology
Gone are the days of businesses having to rely on their own software solutions and hiring on-site staff to take care of them. Thanks to cloud technology, there’s no longer a need to build and maintain your own expensive server rooms, and over 90% of businesses are already using the public cloud. Cloud services are far cheaper than other solutions, which means BPO companies will also have to utilize the cloud to keep up with clients’ technology expectations.
In general, outsourcing companies have to become more well-rounded in both their technology and in the services they provide to maintain an edge in the market.