Offshoring Predictions for 2018: Part 2

11 Dec 2017

Last week, we talked about some of our offshoring predictions, and the BPO industry in general. We discussed the resiliency of the BPO Industry amidst major changes, the heightened importance of security and lowered barrier of entries.

This week, we take a look at what companies have looked for in offshore service providers, as well as what they could look for in 2018. We also tackle the use of artificial intelligence, which gained plenty of buzz in the industry this past year.

A Wider Offering of Services and Expertise

Ten years ago, when someone mentioned the “BPO Industry,” they would immediately think about call centers or customer service specialists. The industry has certainly evolved since then despite this old stigma still attached to it. Thanks in part to more modern technologies, we’ve seen more diverse roles being sent offshore. Companies have not also limited themselves to low level functions as they see the advantages of having a global labour workforce.

We’ve also seen service providers also offering very specific expertise. Particular companies have become pickier with their company objectives, making vendors consistently provide top quality service to any given industry. Some providers have found a niche that works for them, while more versatile providers have found a balance in different ones. It’s impossible to be perfect in any industry, but versatile providers like Diversify maintain a high level of consistency in their work.

Automation in the BPO Industry

For years, the idea of integrating artificial intelligence in the BPO Industry has been played around with. It’s only recently however that the idea began to gain some legs and be fully considered. Obviously this level of automation in the BPO Industry has people divided on the subject.

According to David Rutchik of Pace Harmon, automated processes will be a “step forward” for certain providers that will lead to lowered cost and prices in the market. The efficiency of automation certainly cannot be denied. Its capacity to also be proactive in dealing with issues has some companies considering fully automating their processes.

On the other hand, this disruption to traditional sourcing models is not without its problem. Favoring digital labour over human labour will lead to job loss in major industries like banking, healthcare and retail. Although there are calls to embrace the new technology, experts understand that it continues to be a sensitive topic.

It remains to be seen how much automation will takeover the BPO industry in the coming years. What’s clear however is that relying on solely on digital or human labor is not the way to go. As offshoring prides itself as being in the forefront of trends, it must also embrace the use of automation. At the same time, it must also find the perfect balance of optimizing both its AI and human capabilities. For top offshoring destinations like the Philippines, it is predicted that successful integration of both human and AI capabilities can add $14 trillion to BPO-reliant industries.

Everything In The Cloud

At first glance, cloud computing seems like as a passing fad, or even a novelty. However, as early as 2015, it was predicted that the cloud computing industry would be worth at least $121 billion. Today, for businesses to fully mature, adapting cloud computing has become a must. According to Adam Strichman last year, companies will become more “savvy about what a cloud service really means” and will need to leverage it for new internal and external initiatives. It is predicted that businesses will look for more value in the cloud to drive transformation.

Plenty of offshoring teams rely on cloud systems to effectively work with their managers. They use a mix of both public and private cloud servers to take on particular tasks and run certain applications. With proper security protocols followed, they become more reliable and used on a wider scale. Additionally, businesses will be looking at providers that can seamlessly manage and integrate their cloud systems. According to Rahul Singh, managing director at Pace Harmon, cloud systems for applications like Salesforce “create further operational complexity for enterprises.” Indeed, cloud computing looks to help in offshoring’s cost-effectiveness and result in creating new opportunities.

We’ll be back next week with our final offshoring predictions for 2018. If you’re considering adapting it as a new strategy for the new year, feel free to contact us to get started.