Yes, outsourcing is here to stay.
The pandemic changed the landscape for businesses globally. It is said to have accelerated technology by a decade in a single year. Thus, taking the global competition between companies up to a higher level.
In the new normal, it is believed that no business can operate alone. They need a service provider that can help them get through the challenges of transferring and navigating into a globalized world.
Outsourcing changes business perspectives by offering optimal solutions for their clients across the globe. With this, companies continue to utilize the industry in the following years as they continue to digitize their operations.
Is outsourcing still relevant in the next few years?
Many experts have been previously hesitant about the future of the outsourcing industry.
Within the past decade, the outsourcing industry has seen both rise and decline in the demand for their services. Through the years, as BPOs expanded their services, they strived to keep the industry and companies running.
The pandemic has exposed some of the aspects businesses have looked upon when running their operations, including:
- Preparing for disruptions. The lockdowns highlighted the importance of having a BCP in place in case of calamities and disruptions.
- Hesitation to remote work. Companies have been hesitant if remote working will work for their organizations, thus increasing the struggle for them to change their ways at work.
- The existing talent gap. The crisis has even increased the talent gap. Since most small businesses cannot hire in-house employees due to restrictions and budget restraints, they have difficulty in finding suitable talent to keep them going.
On the other hand, this disruption showed the flexibility of the outsourcing industry. They helped provide solutions to these challenges by offering their services and arranging flexible work for their employees.
This move helped secure the industry in the future. Global companies would continue to run their operations more effectively thanks to BPOs and contact centers.
Why outsourcing is here to stay, according to data
GSA UK once conducted a survey on businesses the past year on why they decided to outsource their services. The majority of the survey answers point to three main reasons for doing so: cost savings (35%), customer experience (23%), and digitization (17%).
To elaborate, most companies outsource their services in the past year for the following reasons:
The industry’s cost-effective nature still attracts companies, especially within the pandemic. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) were largely affected by the lockdowns and travel restrictions in place.
With outsourcing, they get to keep their business going with less overhead costs involved. Companies can hire suitable employees for a fraction of the cost of in-house staffing.
Filling the talent gap
Studies prove that the world faces a “15-year low point in an ongoing talent shortage,” with 69% of companies still reporting talent shortage in 2021.
This is even projected to increase by 2030, largely affecting most industries and developing countries such as the US and UK.
Yet, companies are still optimistic that this will change. Most businesses can indeed beat this challenge through outsourcing. The industry opens up the opportunity for them to hire the best talents around the world that can contribute to their growth and expansion.
Improving customer experience
The increasing digitization in the new normal challenges companies to improve their customer experience further. Businesses now build systems, applications, and other measures that can improve their customer interaction and make their experience better.
Yet, most companies cannot always rely on hiring in-house teams to build this, especially for SMBs.
Startups who wanted to build their interface better now hire software development teams through outsourcing. Here, they get to scale their teams according to their needs and demand when creating their software.
Transition to digital services
Transition to digital services won’t always be easy for companies who got used to a traditional office setup. Some of the main dilemmas they could face include data security and the amount of equipment they should provide for their employees.
Outsourcing companies helped startups make this transition during the pandemic. As service providers, they can take care of the employees and logistics needed in setting up remote work.
Assuring continuous operations
Lastly, outsourcing can help as a concrete business continuity plan (BCP) for businesses. Even when a calamity or crisis strikes, they can provide a seamless service to their customers with the help of their offshore team.
This has been proven with the economic crisis of 2008 and the COVID pandemic.
Factors that can change the future of the outsourcing industry
In the new normal, the outsourcing industry continues to change its landscape to provide the best service possible. With this, the following factors are expected to shape the industry further:
Automation and AI
Service providers are expected to automate some of their processes to make their operations more efficient.
The need for workforce upskilling
However, automation could erase low-level, repetitive work in the future. This calls for the need to upskill employees to future-proof them and secure their careers.
Increasing customer engagement
Even traditional call centers anticipate the increase of customer interaction through social media and video calls. This motivates them to shift their focus into an omnichannel approach in the future.
The increasing popularity of outsourcing locations
Nearshoring is slowly gaining popularity towards companies preferring to outsource in a nearer location. This then triggers the rise of Latin American and Eastern European countries as popular outsourcing destinations.
Outsourcing is a countercyclical industry
Outsourcing has long been regarded as a “sunset industry” with the rising threat of automation. Yet, the industry proved it is resilient through challenging times, serving its clients and helping them recuperate.
Despite the slump that some providers face during the pandemic, a majority of BPOs still managed to report their growth during the first quarter of the year.
Global outsourcing faces a brighter future with businesses slowly going digital. As usual, it is expected that challenges continue to slump the industry in the future. But, it will continue to recover from these setbacks and adapt to the times.