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December 2009 | Outsourcing Blog | BPO Industry Updates and Articles

Huge Comeback Seen for Outsourcing in 2010

As a result of the global economic slowdown, the outsourcing sector’s growth was not as brisk compared to the previous years. Earlier in the year, the CICT pegged industry growth at a cautious 35% this year, conservative considering that the local outsourcing industry was averaging an annual growth clip of well above 40% in the past.

And with customers and locators feeling the pinch of decreased customer demand, the economic pinch put a damper on growth in 2009. However, industry expert and the author of award winning outsourcing blog Phil Fersht of www.fersht.typepad.com says the industry is poised for a huge comeback in 2010. This is because appetite for BPO services will undoubtedly rise and will rise strongly through the recession.

In a blog entry titled 2010 Predictions for the Outsourcing Industry, Fersht outlined some of the outsourcing areas that may see a marked improvement next year.

“BPO will have its strongest year ever. As our soon-to-be released new survey is revealing, transactional finance and accounting BPO will have a resurgence in 2010, with additional interest in management reporting, and we'll also see a fresh wave or HR outsourcing, which has been quiet for a couple of years now, with new uptake in payroll, benefits admin and recruiting outsourcing.  Procure-to-pay outsourcing is poised to accelerate, together with renewed focus in the analytics space across several verticals and horizontal areas,” he said.

As an emerging and preferred outsourcing hub, Philippine based BPOs may yet see a resurgence of demand for their services, and may also see opportunities within the new growth areas within the realm of outsourcing.

Fersht counsels companies to take a first mover stance and come out of the gates blazing to take advantage of opportunities in 2010.

“It’s time to roll-out the new corporate agenda: quickly and aggressively.  2010 will not be a year for the timid, and we'll have a lot of frantic people trying to grapple with outsourcing - we'll see more political pressure, more negativity, more case-studies, more value propositions, more momentum and more energy  than we've seen yet in this crazy industry,” he said.

This prediction from a well respected resource within the outsourcing industry bodes well for BPOs, and will be much felt in the Philippines, where outsourcing remains a sunrise industry. The country’s highly qualified and skilled labor will be a good leverage to gain more contracts within the specialized realms Fersht mentioned above, leading to more job generation and the fast tracking of critical infrastructure projects critical to the outsourcing industry.

Online Presence to Improve Outsourcing Relationships

As more and more people turn to social networking sites and other online communications tools, the concept of project management is fast evolving with it. From a business perspective, the value proposition of free utilities is enormous, and companies are realizing that having an online presence is not merely a marketing tool but also an effective way of managing your relationships.

This trend is best illustrated by the outsourcing process. As companies find that it is cheaper and more cost effective to outsource non-core functions, new media tools are stepping up to fill that last mental barrier keeping companies from fully embracing an outsourcing strategy for growth: the absence of tactile, face to face communications. Now, with Twitter, Facebook, Skype, and Base Camp, collaborators from all over the world can converge on one project and do it more efficiently than shuttling between airports or burning the phone lines.

The beauty of the emergence of new media is that it gives companies who outsource non core functions control over how a project proceeds; in fact, it can be argued that new media gives people the ability to affect changes mid stream and in real time, a luxury that was absent a mere decade ago. For outsourcing companies, it also gives them access to a whole new set of potential customers, companies that have seen the wisdom of maintaining an online presence themselves.

Having said this, the increased reliance on new media to facilitate outsourced operations means companies and individuals must now forge and maintain relationships in the digital world. With the increased use of social networks, this 'virtual life' can also be fully harnessed for business purposes as catch basins for increased interaction between team members. With these new tools, no longer will a manager in the US constantly worry about not getting through to his foreign outsourced partner; new media has made communications a mere mouse click away, and this bodes well for the outsourcing industry because it gives potential customers a new comfort level when dealing with people they have never personally met.