ISG sees continued outsourcing growth – but in what form?

The headline in Channelnomics will appeal to many. Outsourcing is rising, Germany, the US and the UK are spending more on outsourcing than ever before. The figures are around the web and they look very positive for the sector as a whole.

The kicker is in the detail. What’s really driving the spend is digitalization of businesses (which as we know can mean more or less anything but on this occasion is likely to involve mobility, harnessing of big data and analytics and soforth) and a move into the cloud to keep up to date.

In other words that form of outsourcing in which a company would take over a tranche of your IT or other business and pay people who were your employees until recently, offering a whole load of economies of scale but basically doing the same thing, are not exactly dead but it could soon be time for the last rites. The notion of outsourcing support to a contact centre somewhere cheap, if it’s not taking advantage of up to date technology in its turn (and to be fair the vast majority of players are doing just that), has a limited life span.

Outsourcing is increasing but it’s also morphing. If you’re going to use it or take part in it, be prepared to be part of something exciting that involves change – if you offer or demand “more of the same but cheaper” you’ll find the gloss falls off very quickly.

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