Wondering what 2017 might look like for outsourcing? Then read on to find out!
Outsourcing has changed enormously over the last few years, and there are some more big changes set to take place soon. To explore just what the future might hold, we’ll take you through the IAOP Outsourcing World Summit 2017 findings, to see how outsourcing is continually evolving.
In the past, outsourcing has often been seen as merely a way of cutting costs and saving money. Nowadays, though, outsourcing is widely regarded as a global platform to help grow and transform businesses of all shapes and sizes. There’s no doubt about it- outsourcing has become a major business strategy that can be aligned to both business and functional strategy.
If businesses want to succeed and grow, instead of just treading water, then they will need to keep track of all the latest trends in outsourcing, and use them to their advantage. There are numerous technologies that are having an impact on the way that businesses approach outsourcing, including cloud technology, the Internet of Things, Big Data, and many more. In short, any new business development will likely become a key part of outsourcing, and businesses demand these new tools and approaches from the outsourcers themselves.
What’s more, the outsourcing industry itself is going through a major period of change. It is seeking to totally reinvent itself, by putting more of an emphasis on what outsourcing can add to a business, instead of the money it can help to save. The outsourcing of service delivery, sourcing, and automation is becoming an industry-wide standard, and that means outsourcing companies need to keep ahead of the competition by adopting the latest technologies. Many business want a more flexible, efficiency-based relationship with their outsourcers- meaning those who can scale their service successfully, and give their clients exactly what they are looking for, are the companies that will thrive the most.
Above all, the one key skill that outsourcing companies need to have is flexibility. According to the latest research, around 65% of children in grade school today will go on to work in jobs that haven’t even been invented yet. From this statistic, it’s clear that the entire business world is set for major change in the next decade or two, and if outsourcing companies want to compete, they’ll need to be prepared.
Virtual assistants are also increasingly common, and we can expect to see a big increase in the number of them through 2017. This is because businesses are looking for more efficient ways of utilizing resources, and a virtual assistant- who doesn’t have to be on the payroll, and can work only when they are needed- fit the bill when it comes to this approach. Many processes that were previously performed manually are now either totally automated, or something that employees can easily do themselves. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that virtually every manager had a secretary, regardless of the size of their company, whereas this is becoming a rarity nowadays. On the other hand, there may be issues that need troubleshooting when it comes to automation, or the odd task that can only be carried out by an expert- this is where virtual assistants will come into play.
The whole way that businesses operate is also changing- contracts are becoming shorter, as are notice periods, and both are increasingly likely to be based on outcomes. This means that many businesses need to switch from a long-term approach to one that is more based on their day-to-day operations. Utilizing outsourcers, instead of a fixed internal team with a limited skill set, means that these businesses are more able to cope with short-term demands and changes.
What does the future look like?
So, in terms of where outsourcing will go from here, we can expect to see a shift towards outcome-based models, along with closer collaboration with clients on more strategic projects. Outsourcers will also start to become more like consultants than service providers, and it is their knowledge which businesses will use to stay up-to-date and enable innovation. More than ever, users need to be able to easily select the right outsourcing company based on their precise needs, since they will likely be working with multiple such companies.
What do you think? Do you agree with these outsourcing trends? How do you expect outsourcing to evolve in the coming months?