Changes in Outsourcing

Angela McDonald • 07/08/2016

Changes in Outsourcing

There have already been big changes in outsourcing. The practice has come a long way since taking off in the early 1990s. While outsourcing as a way to produce goods goes all the way back to before the industrial revolution, the modern iteration has only really been in force for the last quarter of a century or so.
In that time, not only has the number of companies engaging in outsourcing grown exponentially, but the range of tasks which BPOs carry out has broadened considerably.

Today we are seeing more companies moving from outsourcing peripheral and often monotonous tasks, to outsourcing many of the back-end business functions that are at the core of running a company. As the global workplace grows and technology keeps progressing, companies will be able to focus less on sending work out and more on bringing offshore workers in.

The number of companies that are insourcing manual labour is gradually increasing. Environmental events, such as major earthquakes and severe hurricanes, have seen businesses scrambling to bring in trade-qualified workers from other countries.

Not just call centres anymore

Although outsourcing manufacturing had a massive impact on those employed in that industry, most people’s first experience with outsourcing came through dealing with call centres.

It’s still what a lot of people immediately think of when the subject of outsourcing comes up. Struggling to get customer support from someone whose accent they couldn’t understand over a poor telephone connection.

But outsourcing has long moved beyond call centres and data entry. Through improvements in communications and technology, businesses were able to outsource first office support services, then core back-office roles like IT and web development. Now a business may hire offshore staff to carry out its principal service, as with accounting and law firms.

It’s a small world after all

Communicating globally has changed beyond all recognition in the past 20 years. The rise of the internet replaced first fax machines and international post, then phone calls, and even in-person meetings. It is no longer necessary to be in the same room as someone to have a face-to-face discussion.

Beyond the internet, international flights are cheaper and faster than ever. Even the rise in global literacy and education rates has had an effect. The adoption of English as the language of technology and business means that companies now have an ever-widening pool of skilled workers to hire from whom they can communicate with as easily across continents as across the room.

What the future holds

Outsourcing isn’t going to go away any time soon. As companies move away from traditional office setups to allow local staff to work remotely, the use of offshore staff fits naturally into the new model.
Offshore staff will continue to assume more central business responsibilities, and will become fully integrated into the companies they work for.

Ever-increasing competition and growing local labour costs are likely to push more companies into looking at outsourcing. And as the expectation of a 24-hour workday becomes more common, having staff in different time zones will be an even greater asset.

So while the changes in outsourcing have already been rapid, expect even faster growth as technology improves, workplaces change, and output demands increase while prices stay the same.

If your business wants to start making the most of what outsourcing can offer, get in touch with us at Deployed. We can customise offshore staffing to meet your needs, now and in the future.