IT Outsourcing Trends 2014: BPO companies to increase focus in domestic market

The Business Process Outsourcing Services industry has undergone a rigorous transformation; it has effectively grown to provide strategic partnership for clients today. It has surely left an indelible impact on the Indian BPO industry. The sector has rapidly evolved, in terms of expanding its verticals and geographic markets, attracting new customers, transforming from a technology partner to a strategic partner, thus cementing India’s position as the premier global sourcing destination. The fact that the gamut of services has seen a significant change with BPOs managing end-to-end services indicates the growing maturity of the industry. The industry has already begun moving from enterprise services to providing ‘enterprising solutions’ — incorporating SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and the Cloud) to create client impact, not only on cost, but revenues, profit margins and cash flows.

Growing adoption of outsourcing services by companies to even manage their core management process is giving a new perspective to the global sourcing industry. For e.g. as per certain industry insights, customers of financial sectors prefer interacting with their service providers on Sundays. Hence every BPO Services is going beyond customer satisfaction to value added services and delivering customer services 24×7 with the help of secured social media networking platforms. As business is evolving, BPO industry is evolving with it – and the changes in the business world mean that today’s BPO players should pose ability to increase business responsibility and control.  This year has been vital for the business with big data and analytics growing. There is an urgency to roll out technology solutions and it has seen an enormous ramp-up in the quality of work, which is an extension of work with clients to help simplify the operations using technology while boosting their profitability. The best example is adoption of latest technologies and developing new age applications coupled with mobility and use of cloud technology. The advent of cloud services has enabled businesses to satisfy IT requirements on demand. Mobility has brought insurgency to the existing applications. The effective and speedy launch of new services and applications is now viewed as the most important area of the CIOs role.

Susir Kumar, CEO, Serco Global Services

BPO companies are also more focused on the domestic market. According to global research group Gartner, the domestic BPM market is predicted to reach $2.47 billion by 2014. During the last decade, there has been significant growth in terms of scale, reach, quality and increase in domestic business. The growing demand for goods particularly among the India middle class, rising incomes and standard of life has led to the growth in this sector. Tier II & III cities emerged as the new centers for delivery of services, in fact many new tier II & III cities are emerging as delivery locations. Global In-House Centers (GIC), also known as captive centers, were one of the major growth drivers in the country. The ongoing economic slowdown is having a fairly big impact on business sentiments and customer confidence, particularly in the main markets of US and Europe. India’s competitiveness as the foremost outsourcing destination is being threatened by wage inflation, the rise of other locations, particularly the Philippines and China as alternative sourcing destinations. The changing market trends created more and more challenges to the global BPM sectors. Companies looking to build a satisfied and loyal customer base need to realize that only customer satisfaction does not drive customer delight, but by satisfying customers, companies can nurture long-term relationships and customer loyalty.

2014 – End to End Services and Flourishing Industry

Future growth will come from a combination of high value services, increasing non-linear play and further extension of the sector’s cost proposition. There will be increasing demand for domain based BPO services. The healthcare reforms in US will drive more business for BPO service providers engaged in offering insurance services, medical transcription services, IT services and compliance and regulatory services. Sourcing of BPO services from onshore and near-shore destination will increase. Flourishing verticals include retail, shopping, shipping and healthcare amongst others that will bring business to India. The F&A and HR verticals are expected to be two main drivers, while falling prices will inhibit growth in the CRM services sector. As per HFS Research, the global HR BPM market is valued at $42 billion as of 2013. Regionally, North America and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Asia) will continue to account for the vast majority of global BPM. A number of sectors in India are also expected to outsource higher percentage of their non-core work giving boost to the domestic sector. Growing talent pool of India has the ability to drive the R&D and innovation business in this space.

The BPO industry is likely to be moved by two trends over the next few years. One is in the approach to outsourcing, with multi-sourcing becoming more prevalent, and the other is in technology where previously specialist services are now becoming commodity based. The latter is especially noticeable in the current trend to cloud hosting. Large BPM organizations will have to adapt to working with smaller specialized organizations and will have to become more specialized in certain areas. Equally clients will need to adapt their approach to make sure they gain the maximum benefit from these developments.


Susir Kumar, CEO, Serco Global Services

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