Like all industries, outsourcing has undergone a rapid change in the recent past. In the mid-90s and early 2000, outsourcing was meant to be the core mean to cut the business costs, and increase profitability. However, the shift in mindset and technology dynamics have totally changed the nature of the relationship between vendors and clients.
“Earlier, it was just relationship between service provider and a client – but today, they’re strategic business partners with a shared interest in growth and core business,” says Ray Parker, VP Operations at Ameridial.
This indicates a strategic shift in the nature of the relationship in the outsourcing industry. However, this is not the sole change; in fact, a range of factors. The industry is growing, and at quite a decent rate (8 percent average) as remote-work is attracting freelancers, contractors, professionals, and BPO agencies who are setting up dedicated service centers to provide call center and support facilities.
So, the one thing is sure – outsourcing is here to stay. However, in order to stay competitive, players need to be on their toes and keep on embracing the technological and procedural changes that come on the way. Here are the five key areas that will rule the outsourcing industry for the next decade or so.
- Internet of Things (IoT)
The concept of smart homes, smart cities, and smart nations (Singapore) is not new but its penetration has become a reality, quite earlier than expected. Connecting your products, homes, office or service to the smart systems will require specialist programming skills and voice recognition.
This is where outsourcing will prove handy and we anticipate a number of companies moving into outsourcing their core product development and maintenance (smart apps, wearable and smart home solutions) to offshores. It’ll provide numerous advantages in terms of cost as well as experience.
- Data Science
21st century is dubbed as century of knowledge – and more precisely, the century of data & analytics. Individuals, companies, and societies with greater access to data and expertise in analytics will rule the world. So many of the interactions we have every day are now recorded, the amount of stored data is rapidly growing.
Companies and societies will heavily invest in the skills to be able to process and analyses larger datasets – and anticipate user needs for the future. If the required talent is not available at home, will be hired anywhere. Remember, data is something that will drive growth of all emerging technologies.
Ever heard the word “BitCoin”? BlockChain is the technology behind BitCoin, which is now used as the basis for many of the financial and reporting systems of the future. Industries that require robust reporting will look into BlockChain and invest in the technology to stay competitive.
Given the value and demand of the currency/tool is soaring, the demand for the talent who could provide reliable financial solution and reporting system will turn high. The same appetite will lead companies to offshore and nearshore markets.
- Deep Learning & Conversational AI
Studies indicate that by 2020, 75 of customer relations will be managed without any involvement of human customer reps. Instead, chatbots and conversational AI products will be ruling the world.
This has two-fold implications for outsourcing industry. First, the demand of chatbots and AI-products will soar high in the call centers and customer support service industry. Secondly, clients will be pushing for deep learning expertise for their core products, AI-integrations, and bots-sponsored services.
With chatbots and personal assistants available, high-end and critical business functions will be outsourced in the next decade. Moreover, people will be performing jobs with greater integration of robotics and AI in their offices.
- Cyber Security
Cybersecurity is the biggest concern for modern businesses. The recent cases of hackings (Like Yahoo’s major hack, or US elections fiasco) and spying has caused shockwaves across the world. This turns bigger concern for companies that have hundreds of thousands of TBs of data of their customers.
Take example of Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Gmail, their core value is driven by the users’ data – and they make core product/service decision on the basis of data analytics. Just imagine of any of these has a major hack, what’ll happen?
In the next decade, clients will be looking for real safe havens for their data. In addition, the demand for cybersecurity products and services will also increase. The fundamental concern of any user/business would be to protect his/her identity and the confidential information about them.