Just when we thought 2020 would expect, a pandemic started. Everything changed in an instant, and everyone was scared and suffered. The health sector was shocked, economies hit hard, and businesses drone in a state of uncertainty.
While many industries suffered severe damage, the outsourcing sector kept its head above water. It was one of the most resilient sectors during the epidemic and remains strong today.
However, the sector has also experienced shocks that may have changed outsourcing in the years to come. Could the outsourcing sector deviate significantly from last year's trends?
Would it expect further unseen changes? Or would the trends remain as expected?
Let's find out!
Many companies learned the hard way during the pandemic; one of them introduced teleworking. Before the disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, teleworking was only an option or alternative. However, during the pandemic, telework became the new norm and emerged as one of the global outsourcing trends.
For example, before the pandemic, only 17% of US workers worked from home at least five days a week, but this figure rose to 44% during the pandemic.
However, not all firms have the potential to implement such working arrangements. For outsourcing companies, however, "teleworking" is already an advantage. Outsourcing companies are known for their wide range of services, which can even perform at remote workstations.
In principle, the idea of teleworking is not new to them. Any outsourcing company may have already implemented teleworking for its employees before COVID-19. Thus, many organizations are likely to procure services from outsourcing companies with the capacity, stability, and compliance for telework operations.
As outsourcing relies on advanced technologies to efficiently process tasks, it continues to adopt robotic process automation (RPA) innovations. Global companies are recognizing the potential of RPA in outsourcing to the extent that it has become one of the emerging trends in the business process outsourcing industry.
Grand View Research forecasts that the global RPA market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 40.6% between 2020 and 2027. How can RPA be so valuable?
Nintex director Aaron Bultman says: "RPA is a form of business process automation that allows anyone to define instructions to be executed by a robot or 'bot'. RPA bots can mimic most human-computer interactions and perform tons of tasks without error, at high volume and speed."
RPA essential trend in outsourcing, as it helps BPO companies perform multiple, repetitive tasks efficiently and accurately. This type of automation can work in harmony with human activities, increasing productivity and profits.
We have been hearing about "cloud" for some time and more so at present. Sources say that Cloud Computing is a new form of outsourcing. So, what does it do?
Cloud Computing is the transfer of computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the Internet ("the cloud") instead of physical servers or storage devices. Cloud Computing benefits organizations by lowering operating costs, allowing faster access to data and resources, and increasing efficiency and information security.
Deloitte published that 90% of their client participants saw Cloud as one of their primary digital enablers in their outsourcing journey. And with the pandemic's disruptions, Cloud adoption is seen to accelerate further as traffic is pushed into the Internet and off corporate networks and data centers.
Therefore, as Cloud services become more mainstream and in-demand over the coming years, investing in them will essentially benefit outsourcing providers or BPO companies.
The great social media has become a significant influence on industries and businesses. It is now an influential business tool across sectors, from being just a casual platform for socializing online. Of course, being the innovative sector, outsourcing companies will not miss out on the many opportunities that social media offers.
The rise of social media management is a result of consumer demand for multichannel communications. Because consumers are on social media all the time and prefer to interact through these platforms, businesses follow suit.
BPO companies today include social media tools in their various outsourcing services. Most commonly, outsourcing companies use social media as a tool in improving customer service. It can be through social media monitoring, live chatting, consumer insights, customer feedback and responses, and others.
Take, for example, content creation. Content is famous nowadays for use in social media strategy to attract an audience. However, creating content can be difficult and time-consuming, so companies outsource it. According to Sprout Social, 86% of B2B organizations outsourced content creation, and 30% outsourced content distribution.
Outsourcing companies that offer social media management can look forward to more demands from clients who do not have specialists for the said field. Thus, outsourcing social media will likely continue, and BPOs must invest more in tools and talents.
Talking of multichannel may be a thing of the past to focus solely on multichannel communication strategies. Today, therefore, what is highly desirable for consumers is a "connected" multichannel interaction - an omnichannel experience.
Omni-channel is a strategy to improve the user experience by connecting the customer experience across all interaction channels. It allows customers to continue their knowledge from one track to another and recapture their previous experience. When consumers move from one platform to another, consistent communication across all channels is essential for a seamless experience.
Quality of service is essential to us. Several articles and surveys have shown that a great customer experience is one of the companies' priorities. For example, one study found nine out of ten consumers (90%) want omnichannel services.
As outsourcing companies continue to use technology to break new ground, they provide the tools and resources to deliver an omnichannel experience. Not only can your employees benefit from more efficient processes, but you can also offer omnichannel services to your clients.
The benefits of outsourcing were once only available to large and established companies. However, looking at current trends in the outsourcing market, it is clear that start-ups and SMEs turn to outsource services.
An article by Clutch found that 8 out of 10 (80%) of US SMEs plan to outsource their business functions by 2021. These respondents believe that outsourcing will help them become more efficient and grow their businesses. Furthermore, these SMEs look forward to working with industry experts.
With tight budgets, start-ups and SMEs have to make do with a limited resource, so we see outsourcing as an excellent opportunity to seek cost-effective solutions that BPO companies can provide.
As the outsourcing industry continues to grow and the services offered expand, BPO is no longer just about call centers. The enterprise is constantly evolving to meet the needs of existing and potential clients. As a result, outsourcing companies need people with the right skills.
But while technology dominates the business world, jobs are at stake. According to the Asian Development Bank, by 2030, automation will reduce employment in the BPO sector and electronics manufacturing by 24%.
However, the outsourcing sector has not disappeared yet. The management teams of BPO companies are upskilling their workforce with specialized training to perform various business processes.
With the advent of automation, RPA, analytics, or even the Cloud, outsourcing professionals need to be equipped to deliver their clients' desired results. Having the proper knowledge and skills is a significant advantage and attraction for all outsourcing requirements.
With the advent of automation, RPA, analytics, or even the Cloud, outsourcing professionals need to be equipped to deliver their clients' desired results.No significant difference
Just as last year's pandemic had a brutal impact on businesses and industries, this year's trends will not be affected. As a result, outsourcing trends in 2021 will be pretty similar to those of the past few years.
The industry has already noticed most of the trends mentioned. These are the key trends extracted from top software outsourcing companies in India. Nevertheless, we don't know what the future holds in the prolonged uncertainty, so it's good to know that these trends come and go.