Trend 1 – New Technologies are Emerging

Over the years,BPO industry has been providing businesses with cost effective solutions. Emerging technologies such as cloud computing, social media, software and automation are being used by BPOs to reduce costs and accelerate growth. This trend will continue in 2018. Here are the three major trends expected to emerge in BPO technology in 2018.

1. Emphasis on Process Automation

Many New technologies that have emerged over the past few years including robotic process automation (RPA) have begun to impact the BPO industry.RPA with its cost savings, speed and efficiency is slowly making its way into all industries and all types of business processes. This will have a major impact on how BPOs operate and lead to jobs losses. Expanding enterprises do not want to hire thousands of people for small tasks such as processing insurance claims, data entry, and so on, as these tasks can be easily handled by computers.

They are adopting more tools that aid automation.India’s BPO industry workforce is expected to shrink by 14% in 2021. In the Philippines, around 700 thousand medium and high skill jobs would be created by 2022. This is important because automation is something that is accessible to the customers of BPO service providers. This trend will dominate in 2018 and outsourcing companies will automate more processes to bring innovation to existing clients, improve productivity.

2. Focus on Social Media Management Tools

Earier, the customer service industry was entirely dependent on websites. Browsing social media has recently become the third most popular online activity. Companies now realize that social media is a game changer. It provides consumer data and feedback that can enhance a company’s ability to analyze upcoming trends. Instead of call center software programs, companies now want to invest in real-time customer engagement that will allow them to gain first-hand product, Issues and solutions that will address future problems. According to Credo Consulting, consumer demands for multi-channel communications (including social media, live chat, etc.) has exploded over the past 5 years. For BPO service providers, this change in customer management is a huge opportunity. These services range from social media monitoring to business intelligence and actioning customer response.

3. Investments in Cloud Computing

Small and medium businesses have a limited budget which is unable to grant them state of the art office space and infrastructure. According to a study by Rightscale, around 95% of SMBs have now adopted cloud technologies.

Some of the benefits this trend include:

• Improved business collaboration due to a standardized system between the BPO company and the client.
• More storage on the cloud which can improve the organization’s business continuity and resilience to risks from storing data in a    single location.
• Higher data security due to impenetrable cloud systems.
• Simplified data administration, which can allow faster access to company’s resources for remote teams.
• Flexibility and scalability

Trend 2 – Multitasking to Overcome Skill Shortage

Earlier BPO was synonymous with call centers.A huge chunk of BPO organizations have been investing in new technologies in their supplying countries.Due to increasing levels of skilled work, 52% of businesses are concerned about skill shortage in the BPO industry.BPO powerhouses like India and the Philippines have also been facing a skill shortage over the past few years.NASSCOM (The National Association of Software and Service Companies), has expressed its concerns over the lack of a high skilled workforce in the Indian BPO sector to tackle high-end services. These services include digital technology, mobile applications, cloud computing, and more. So,BPO companies like Capgemini have made it their mission to impart more skills to their current employees.

Trend 3 – Startups becoming BPO Customers

The past few years have seen a huge surge in startup growth. Startups are under a lot of pressure to succeed under time constraints with limited resources. With a small budget to hire talent, these small businesses often look overseas for cost effective labour. Companies such as Slack, AppSumo and Klout have used the talent outsourcing model to build their successful business ideas. Startups and BPOs have become more mutually dependent and this trend will become more pronounced in 2018.

Trend 4 – Increased Transparency

In the past, only large multinational BPO companies were an active part of the industry. It was really difficult to get information about the policies and contracts during this time. Most employees on the client side were in the dark about technology stack, plans, challenge areas, and other processes. The introduction of smaller businesses, has urged the BPO industry to increase transparency and reveal their policies, contracts and pricing.A high level of transparency is required to maintain trust between BPOs and vendors. Transparency also results in better partnerships between clients and suppliers, which is required for business innovation and better investment options (due to access to information).

Trend 5 – Continued Growth in Top Outsourcing Countries

Established outsourcing destinations like India, the Philippines and Malaysia will continue to see growth in 2018, coupled with a few challenges.

Trend 6 – New Outsourcing Destinations to Emerge in 2018

Oversaturation and reduction in business growth in the top 3 outsourcing countries has led businesses to search for alternative cost-effective locations.