The pandemic helped accelerate the world for a decade. It easily modified certain aspects of our lives, including the way a business operates.

An increasingly globalized world requires companies to become more digitized and at par with the new normal of work today. This includes adapting remote work to their operations, which small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) can find favorable.

This can as well be the perfect time to outsource several functions. Not all businesses can afford to set up brick-and-mortar operations, especially when recovering from their losses during lockdowns.

The business process outsourcing industry is expected to increase its market for years to come. This comes with several trends that further shape the industry to adapt more to client needs. Find out these trends in this article.

Outsourcing in the new normal

The pandemic strengthened the trust between businesses and their service providers.

With the onset of the pandemic, businesses suffered uncertain and delayed growth. Brick and mortar businesses had to close down and halt their operations as lockdowns were implemented.

This made things difficult for small and medium enterprises that don’t have enough resources to keep their businesses going.

Outsourcing, meanwhile, has been seen as a sunset industry for years now, with the threat of automation at hand. Though, the pandemic turned this around, proving its counter cyclical nature. It helped businesses cut costs, keep afloat, and hire experienced teams when they needed it the most.

Nevertheless, a bright future is seen for the industry ahead. It is still expected to reach around $397 billion by 2025 with a growth rate of around 4.5%.

As global outsourcing continues to increase in demand, several trends are seen to shape the way they work for the following years. Here are 2021’s top outsourcing trends that are set to take over in the next decade as well:

Increased remote working efforts

Remote work got into the mainstream at the onset of the pandemic. From this year forward, most companies, even in the outsourcing industry, expect this to be a permanent work option for their employees.

Studies from the previous year have proven the effectiveness of remote work in terms of productivity. With this, US-based Enterprise Technology Research projects that these efforts will be doubled this year.

Though despite this breakthrough, some industries still encourage employees to slowly go back to the office. This is important especially in outsourcing companies following strict compliances at work.

Utilizing cloud computing services even more

As businesses race to digitize their business processes, companies slowly see the importance of the cloud in their operations. Forbes stated that around 77% of enterprises have at least one part of their processes in the cloud in 2018.

This has even increased during the pandemic. As per Deloitte, 90% of their participants saw cloud computing as a huge enabler in their entire outsourcing journey. Cloud-based outsourcing services even brought more flexibility and scalability to their clients.

With this, experts project an increase in the use of virtual storage and cloud services for better collaboration with their outsourced teams.

Increased focus on cybersecurity

Cybersecurity issues are still on top of a company’s concerns. Remote working has even made their data and privacy more vulnerable to suspicious activities online.

Sweden recorded at least 350 cases of cyberattacks the previous year, a record high from its usual 100-150. In London, meanwhile, 47% of individuals became victims of phishing scams while working from home. Most of these cases are due to human error while at work.

An increase in remote work efforts means tighter security by clients and their service providers. This is why BPO companies continue to implement strict data security measures following several compliances.

The rise of nearshoring destinations

Despite its generous benefits, most clients find offshoring riskier during the pandemic. This comes along with travel restrictions and impending lockdowns that make in-person collaboration more difficult.

Clients find nearshoring as an alternative outsourcing option for them. With this method, they get to delegate non-core services to neighboring countries while enjoying more cost efficiency and better work collaboration.

Several nearshoring destinations in Latin America and Eastern Europe have as well increased their popularity.

The use of social media for businesses

There will as well be an increase in the use of social media as a customer service channel. In 2020, the global social media penetration rate reached an average of 49 percent, making customers and businesses around the world more connected.

Utilizing social media platforms allow companies to be where their customers are – online. This creates a more seamless experience for their customers, increasing their satisfaction.

Integrating AI into operations

Lastly, the outsourcing industry expects to rise above the threat of automation.

Most businesses already have implemented or are considering automation at work. Meanwhile, the outsourcing industry is now starting to invest in AI to make work more efficient for their clients.

Using automation and AI also gives them an edge over their competitors.

Maximizing outsourcing to your advantage

The best way for clients to get the best out of outsourcing is to get the right service provider. A lot of BPO companies can offer the best services at low costs. Though, the right provider can help them maximize the benefits they can have without compromises and hassles.

Companies can look for the right provider by looking at these several aspects.

  • Location. Location matters when outsourcing a function. Tapping a local provider may provide fewer savings, but it can give better security and efficiency like in nearshore or offshore outsourcing.
  • Pricing. Most BPOs offer a fixed fee for their services. Though, watch out for hidden charges in every additional service a company gets.
  • Credibility. Lastly, clients can check out the guaranteed reliability of their service provider through customer feedback and reviews easily found online.