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#DigitalSmart: Futurescape of Outsourcing in the Digital World
Neha Sethi - 05.05.2016

In the new digital age, all businesses are virtually undergoing a major technology-driven change. Disruptive new models enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and borderless economies are dramatically transforming the business ecosystem from the way companies do business to how they engage with their workforce.

20 years into the Internet Revolution

Its growth has not shown any signs of slowing down and continues to disrupt the business landscape with new and innovative digital services. 35 Million internet users in 1995 and the number has crossed 3.2 Billion in 2015 with another 3+ Billion yet to onboard; these numbers are only going to be dwarfed in the next few years. If Facebook community were a country, it would be the largest one in the world with 1.59 Billion monthly users on the social networking site, over 900 Million on Whatsapp, 400 Million on Instagram and 827 Million mobile-only users as per their Q4 2015 results.

When we add to this mix – the Internet of Things – it becomes a force multiplier. In various independent studies, experts estimate that IoT will consist of almost 50 Billion additional devices by 2020 and could add an additional $14 Trillion to Global GDP over the next two decades.

The BPO industry, which has embraced the digital revolution in a significant way, is the nucleus of this evolutionary shift.

Gone are the old transactional models

Outsourcing partners today have acquired expertise in customer experience management, leveraged the new technologies in cloud, mobile, automation and social interactions to provide enhanced value and innovation to their clients.

Taking the example of a digital transport and a hotel aggregator business, their BPO partners have significantly supported the need to be fleet-footed, agile and flexible in a rapidly changing business environment. In order to remain relevant and serve more and more people, these companies have expanded considerably in the last six months; calling for quick deployment of manpower and infrastructure and above all – expertise. The outsourcing model and service providers have the flexibility, speed, re-skilling, up-skilling, expertise, openness for change and other organizational dynamics to map these needs and match their speed of change.

Comparing this to the legacy companies which on-boarded the BPO wagon at the very onset, mainly for productivity optimization, continue to be asset heavy organizations till date, keeping a majority of the business process spend in-house; with only about 20-30 per cent processes outsourced. However, owing to the current digital revolution, the legacy model is rapidly being challenged due to its passiveness towards change.

The other set of businesses we referred to earlier are the Digital or As-A-Service Enterprises. These new world digital companies – Internet Titans – are the ones driving the change today! The digital disruption torch bearers, most of which have become household names to the billions of internet users globally.

BPO- offering Disruption and Optimization

Take the smart devices industry as an example – a majority of MNCs in this space outsource the manufacturing of handsets and other hardware parts to emerging economies, while the technology and expertise remains with them, allowing for time and scope for research and innovation to build further advanced and impressive products; the core specialization remains at source. In parallel, it also creates new jobs across all skill levels as has been seen during the evolution of all other industries.

Outsourcing is a phenomenon that has existed for decades to create more value and vigor in the business ecosystem, evolving over a period of time. Today’s digital connect and customer experience being at the heart of every business as the main differentiator to compete on, outsourcing is no longer the transactional level engagement etched on a contract but has transformed into an integrated partnership model for leveraging collective strengths.  This is leading to deeper engagements and process-enabled wins in the marketplace.

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Contributor: Neha Sethi @nehacsethi 

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