Outsourcing: changing the face of business

I was extremely interested to see research published this week which suggested that Britain’s outsourcing industry is now almost as big as the financial services sector. The study, released by Oxford Economics on Tuesday, highlighted the...

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I was extremely interested to see research published this week which suggested that Britain’s outsourcing industry is now almost as big as the financial services sector.

The study, released by Oxford Economics on Tuesday, highlighted the fact that the outsourcing industry in this country generates more than £200 billion a year, and accounts for as much as 8% of the UK’s total economic output.

You don’t need a long memory to recall a time when outsourcing was viewed without the same level of enthusiasm - indeed, as recently as only a few years ago, truly successful outsourcing contracts were generally few and far between. So what’s changed?

Perhaps one of the biggest changes has been a greater willingness to embrace outsourcing as a viable business solution. The government’s decision to cut spending in the public sector is, of course, the prime example of this, and demonstrates that organisations are beginning to understand the value that outsourcing can add.

It’s still true that, for many, outsourcing suppliers are seen as the villains of the piece, as, particularly with the public sector cuts, there’s a perception that they are benefiting, to some extent, from the misery of others. However, I also firmly believe that the cuts have noticeably switched people on to the business benefits that outsourcing can provide.

Of course, planning to implement an outsourcing deal and realising one successfully are two very separate things, and the increased number of successful deals we’ve seen in recent months is testimony to the fact that businesses are becoming much more savvy, not just about the benefits that outsourcing can provide, but also the ways in which they need to manage their involvement in outsourcing in order to make it a success.

Organisations have learned that in order to manage projects successfully, they need to find a partner who reflects the values and culture of their own business, and somebody with whom they can work collaboratively. Crucially, we’re also seeing fewer organisations entering into outsourcing deals on the basis of cost alone, and more embracing it as part of a strategic vision for their business.

It’s also true that, as the outsourcing industry has matured, organisations have been granted greater access to talent and new technologies which mean they can now deliver extra benefits, faster response time and even greater value.

If you would like to hear more about how outsourcing can help to drive down costs and add value to your business, then why not come to the European Outsourcing Association (EOA) Summit and Awards in Madrid on the 20th and 21st June?

For more details, please click here or contact Stephanie Hamilton on: [email protected]

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