We’ve taken a look into the future of BPO, and here are the top trends we see driving the industry in 2015. Read on, and check out our infographic below!
- Innovation becomes the status quo
Buyers pushed for innovation from BPO providers for years, and now they are seeing it ingrained into the industry at last. A survey of 100 firms found that two-thirds have innovation incentives built into outsourcing arrangements, and nearly half meet regularly with providers to discuss innovation. Eighty percent said outsourcing partners “actively encourage innovation and ideas.”
- Contract structuring gets creative
BPO providers will get creative to land mega-sized, multi-year outsourcing deals. Innovative contract terms will include up-front payment for purchase of a client’s assets such as hardware, software, intellectual property and the transfer of workers.
- Buyers seek balanced shores
Competitive BPO providers will offer clients flexible outsourcing location options, known as balanced-shore outsourcing. Locations will include at-home; on-site; off-site within the same city; off-site at a lower-cost-of-living city; nearshore; farshore; and blends of these arrangements.
- Smaller, shorter BPO engagements
“Flexibility” is the theme of BPO contracts as buyers split work among several specialist providers, rather than bundling it into one large contract with one provider. The result will be smaller, shorter BPO engagements. Experienced buyers will seek “domain expertise” from providers, instead of simply the lowest price.
- Software robots on the rise
Providers of robotic process automation (RPA) software will aggressively market to BPOs these smart platforms that handle tedious, low-skill decision-making traditionally handled by clerical workers. Some BPO providers are incorporating RPA in their solutions to help reduce costs for their clients. By 2018, these digitally powered business processes will require 50 percent less BPO workers, Gartner predicts.
- Enterprise mobile apps take off
Made-for-business apps have been hyped for the past couple years, but in 2015 we’ll see the combined power of IBM and Apple shake the market up. They are releasing IBM MobileFirst apps for iOS, which will please those who bring iPhones and iPads to work. MobileFirst solutions that have potential in the BPO realm include banking and financial apps Advise & Grow and Trusted Advice; and insurance app Retention.
- Device convergence pushes process innovation
Not only will Apple’s mobile iOS blaze a path through business processes, but competitor Microsoft will muscle its way in with the enterprise edition of the Windows 10 operating system, set for release in 2015. Windows 10 is supposed to make life easier for IT by creating a unified app, security and deployment environment for all Windows-based devices, from phones to tablets to laptops to PCs to touch-screen displays.
- Organizations seek help managing and protecting unstructured data
In the wake of headline-making attacks and data breaches of Sony Pictures, JP Morgan, Snapchat and others, information security will be of the highest priority in BPO engagements. IT teams will work to not only protect the perimeter of organizations from attack, but will also build “application self-protection” features into made-for- business apps.
- New InfoSec strategies
In the Sony Pictures breach, 100 terabytes of data were allegedly stolen by hackers. Companies are realizing that they cannot manage information by buying more servers–they need strong enterprise content management (ECM) strategies and assistance from BPO providers experienced in securely managing unstructured information such as video and audio files, social media posts, and data on employees’ BYOD devices.
- Companies embrace a mix of SaaS and private cloud
As companies shift to SaaS, on premises software deployment is declining rapidly,expected to drop from 34 percent to 17 percent by 2017, according to Gartner. However, because of security concerns, CIOs are increasing adoption of private cloud more than public. Experienced BPO providers are navigating this new reality, looking for opportunities to offer organizations BPaaS (business process as a service), RPA and secure private cloud infrastructure.