Top 5 Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Trends for 2015

We have ventured into a brand new year and as the year progresses we will see the BPO landscape evolving. Here are 5 BPO trends that will shape the evolution of BPO services in India and globally in the near future. The underlying themes of these trends – innovation, customized offerings, process automation, and value over cost arbitrage- are shaping the BPO industry and will continue to do so in the future.
Innovation Becomes the Standard
Clients are now actively seeking (and getting) innovation and fresh ideas from BPO providers. Innovation has now become the standard factor in BPO contracts. According to a recent survey, “more than three quarters of buyers have achieved business innovation through outsourcing”. The survey, comprising of 100 UK buyers, found that 8 out of 10 buyers believed that their current outsourcing suppliers actively encourage innovation and fresh ideas.
Innovative Contract Structuring
In a bid to outdo competitors, more and more BPO providers will resort to creative contract structuring, including upfront payment of money or buying part of client’s assets. As per this ET article, India’s biggest IT outsourcing firms like TCS & Wipro have done just that in the past year and this trend will continue in 2015.
Rise of Hybrid Outsourcing Models
BPO provider, again in a bid to outdo competition, will offer clients flexible outsourcing location options. This strategy is also known as balanced-shore outsourcing. The locations will include at-home, on-site, off-site within the same city, off-site in a lower cost city, nearshore, offshore, etc
Smaller BPO engagements
BPO contracts are increasingly getting split into smaller sized deals and are given to specialist providers, rather than bundling everything together and giving the contract to one big provider. Domain expertise is fast replacing lowest prices as the major criteria for outsourcing contracts.
Rise of Process Automation
The use of Robotic Process Automation will gain prominence to handle low skill and tedious tasks traditionally handled by clerical workers. Providers of RPA software are aggressively marketing their products and BPO providers are including RPA in their offering to reduce client costs further. Gartner predicts that by 2018, because of process automation, BPOs will require 50 percent less workers.

Shiv Kumar Pandey is a marketing consultant for Five Splash, an SME providing BPO services in India. He writes and about business and marketing for various industries like education, BPO, retail and services.

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