Latest Software Outsourcing TrendsMarwa Hassan
Outsourcing is not a novel concept. For decades, people have been doing it. However, with access to new technology, it has become easier than ever before. Using the Internet, it is possible to outsource even relatively minor tasks without entering into long-term contracts or committing to working with a company.
In this post, we will look at some of the outsourcing trends that we saw in 2021 and expect to see continue in 2022, as remote work and hiring from all over the world have become the norm for almost every business.
What is Outsourcing?
Outsourcing is the process of contracting out a task that was previously performed by the company’s team. Historically, it has been a cost-cutting measure implemented primarily by larger corporations. However, one of the most significant outsourcing trends is that it is becoming much easier for small businesses to outsource.
Let’s take a look at an example. A company may have started producing clothing and built a profitable brand with their own employees. This company could then outsource the entire production, or portions of it, to other companies all over the world.
There are numerous other examples, as people turn to “BPO” or “Business Process Outsourcing” and hire other companies to perform tasks that their teams would otherwise perform. This could be as simple as data entry or as complex as managing the entire company’s payroll.
Benefits of Outsourcing
Outsourcing is becoming more popular for a reason. There are more reasons to outsource than ever before, and it is easier than ever to do so. In many cases, it is even reshaping the entire world of work as people transition from traditional employment contracts to the “gig economy.” To fully comprehend outsourcing trends and the reasons behind them, it is necessary to first understand the benefits of outsourcing.
Access to Skills
Outsourcing is about more than just getting things done cheaply. It is all about involving the best people in your company. If you only hire people in your immediate area, you may have a very limited pool of candidates. You can cherry-pick the best talent if you open your search to companies or freelancers all over the world. It’s possible that you’ll be able to find skills that aren’t available in your area.
Outsourcing allows you to structure your business in a specific way. For example, it can help you avoid making a large investment in establishing a new department by allowing you to begin offering a product or service without having to hire people to work on it. This implies that as your company grows, it will be easier to scale.
For example, a graphic design firm may want to start offering web design services. However, they are not required to hire employees or structure their business in such a way that a web design department is added. This work can be delegated to a freelancer or another company.
Can Be Cost-Efficient
As previously stated, cost-effectiveness isn’t the only advantage. Many people believe that the only reason people outsource is to save money, but this is not the case.
However, if you outsource wisely, you can save money. There are many companies and services that are less expensive if you outsource them, particularly if you are willing to look abroad. Many call centers, for example, are outsourced to places where the costs of employing someone are much lower. This is fundamental economics. If hiring someone in Egypt costs $5 per hour versus $20 per hour in the US, it makes sense, especially if the quality of your service does not suffer as a result.
To Save Time
Companies that outsource can be more “nimbler” in their approach. This means they can pivot and save a significant amount of time. Large corporations with a large number of employees have a tendency to take a long time to complete tasks. They must devote significant time to training their employees, implementing management systems, and even finding a location for offices, warehouses, or other business premises.
You may be able to tap into a company or freelancer where this is already in place if you outsource, and you won’t have to worry about some of the more time-consuming aspects of running a business that don’t necessarily add to your bottom line. It can reduce risk while also saving you a lot of time.
Latest Outsourcing Trends
The world of outsourcing is changing at a breakneck pace. It looks different now than it did a few years ago because the industry has changed, the pandemic has changed people’s attitudes, and outsourcing has become more common. Let’s take a look at some of the outsourcing trends that we saw in 2021 and are still seeing today.
Many people are becoming concerned about cybersecurity. While most businesses can perform a simple reverse email search to verify the legitimacy of an email, many people are still taken in by phishing scams, for example. Some high-profile cases of companies being hacked or experiencing major issues with their cybersecurity have prompted people to seek more knowledge in this area.
Only larger companies typically have their own cybersecurity staff, so it is common to outsource to others. In this case, it is more of an opportunity to tap into other people’s expertise than it is to save money. Services can range from consulting on best security practices to fully managing cybersecurity and protecting businesses from attacks.
Remote work is not a novel concept. Many people have been doing it for some time, but many companies have been digging in their heels and not allowing their employees to work remotely. Some had invested in office space, while others were simply unwilling to adapt to this modern work method.
When the pandemic struck, the majority of workplaces were forced to allow their employees to work remotely. Companies quickly realized that it did not necessarily make employees less productive, and in some cases, it even increased output, not to mention the ability to save on office space.
Companies will inevitably continue to shift to this way of working as they accept that remote work is here to stay and that there will continue to be a significant role for working outside of a traditional environment. It certainly lends itself to hiring freelancers or outsourcing rather than having employees confined to a single location.
Many businesses are automating their systems in this day and age of AI and technology. It makes perfect sense; you can outsource roles that were previously manual, such as data entry and order processing, and these can be greatly aided by technology.
Analytics is one example of where automation can be seen in action. If you outsource your analytics, it is possible that things are constantly being analyzed behind the scenes and that data is available and on demand whenever you need it thanks to software solutions. Rather than devoting a team to data processing, it can be automated and fed into software with the click of a button.
Knowledge Process Outsourcing
Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) is the practice of outsourcing activities such as data analysis to gain insights into your business, and it has proven to be very effective in recent years.
Many businesses are collaborating with data analysts or market researchers to expand their strategy and assist their businesses in identifying new opportunities and ways to continue to build for the future. These outsourced services may take the form of consulting or a continuing relationship in which analysts and market specialists assist in optimizing business processes and identifying new areas for growth.
Long-Term Relationships with Outsourced Companies
Once upon a time, outsourcing was regarded as a purely ‘transactional’ process. When something goes wrong in your home, it can be similar to working with a plumber. You call the plumbing company when you need them, but you don’t usually have a long-term relationship with them unless something goes wrong.
In the modern era, this transactional relationship is only appropriate in certain situations. Longer-term relationships make sense, especially with companies you know you can trust and who will help your business grow and improve its processes.
As business evolves, it is becoming more common to maintain these relationships over longer periods of time. There is no need to change things if nothing is broken in the relationship and it can be beneficial to all parties. Why would you want to risk losing an external partner’s help and support if you’ve made a conscious decision to work with them for a portion of your business?
Social Media and Digital Marketing
Another trend we’re seeing is businesses outsourcing their social media and digital marketing efforts. There are a few advantages to doing so:
1.It can save a significant amount of time and money. There are tasks that can be performed by employees anywhere in the world, and outsourcing can add another level of automation so that posts can be sent out at any time – thanks to time zones. Companies can free up their on-site employees to do other things and work within the hours by outsourcing to other locations where wages are lower.
2.Outsourcing to firms that specialize in social media and digital marketing. For example, this is about much more than just posting a random Twitter post every now and then. Companies are built around optimizing social media ROI, providing statistics, running ad campaigns, and building a company’s online presence in order to increase sales.
When you think about it, there isn’t always a compelling reason to run this side of the business yourself. Because it is likely not your or your team’s area of expertise, it makes sense to outsource your social media efforts as well as other aspects of digital marketing, such as pay-per-click ad campaigns and SEO.
Most businesses recognize that it is likely time to transition to cloud computing and storage. It can be more secure, allowing your team to work and collaborate in a much more effective and efficient manner. However, many in-house IT employees lack the necessary skills to implement a cloud computing system.
This is an example of using outsourcing to tap into the skills of others. Delegating cloud computing is frequently far easier than implementing it yourself. This can be time-consuming, and mistakes are common. A specialist will provide you with additional peace of mind because you will know that your cloud computing is being handled by a company with a proven track record.
Omnichannel Customer Experience
Companies are becoming more adept at managing the entire customer experience and the various ways in which customers can interact with a company. Outsourcing the omnichannel customer experience allows you to reach out to customers in new ways and increase your online visibility, with everything from a live chat function to social media support handled.
As companies improve, this type of customer interaction management is becoming the norm, and customers expect to be able to contact someone whenever they want and to be able to pick up where they left off with a complaint or query.
Outsourcing your entire customer experience is dependent on a company with a good track record of customer management. Still, if done correctly, it can save your company a lot of time and money. This was one of the fastest growing outsourcing trends in 2021, and we expect it to continue because it allows people and businesses to focus more on their strengths.
Startups and Small Businesses Focusing on Outsourcing
Outsourcing used to be a huge commitment and a difficult task to undertake, so companies that did it were usually pretty big. They had the resources to set up large contracts and commit to long-term collaboration with others. However, things have gotten a lot easier.
Almost anyone can now outsource a task. There are numerous online platforms for finding freelancers and services that do not require minimum orders or a long-term commitment. For example, anyone can go to a freelance platform and find someone to act in a low-skilled role such as data entry or a high-skilled role such as marketing strategy consultation. You can set a budget and work within it without having to make a large commitment or take too many significant risks in the process.
Other ‘gig economy’ platforms, such as Fiverr, enable people to do a type of micro-outsourcing, hiring individuals to perform tasks one gig at a time and only paying for what they use. This is changing the world of work and the way businesses are set up. Some are completely reliant on freelancers and outsource a large portion of their work.
Outsourcing technical support can be a huge undertaking for businesses, and it often makes perfect sense. There is usually a plethora of locations that are excellent candidates for outsourcing. Many sub-continental countries have a large number of technical skills and companies that can handle all of your tech support needs, which means that when a customer has a question about what your company offers, how to fix something, or how to use your service, they can speak to someone who has a thorough understanding of the situation.
Technical support outsourcing may entail creating specific scripts to follow or providing an opportunity for a company to build a knowledge base about your product or service that they can then work from when customers have questions. Technically savvy businesses will likely find it simple to provide the type of support your customers require, freeing you up to focus on what you are good at and drive revenue for your company.
Technical support outsourcing can take the form of virtual assistants, which has been a growing trend in a variety of industries for several years. When you use a virtual assistant, you will always have someone available when a customer calls, and your phone lines can even be routed directly to your assistant, no matter where they are in the world. Certain virtual assistant and virtual receptionist companies specialize in all things technical, making it much easier to obtain the level of support that your company requires from its customers.