Challenging situations can present themselves in many industries. Like many of these industries, business process outsourcing companies were also affected by Covid-19.
It is, however, a testament to the strength of the industry that despite all the challenges faced, the BPO market is expected to grow at a CAGR exceeding 7%, or USD 76.90 billion for the period from 2020 to 2024, according to Technavio’s “Business Process Outsourcing by Enduser” report quoted by Business Wire.
The Pandemic Hasn’t Slowed Down the Industry
This data shows that, while Covid-19 affected the industry, businesses have actually been drawn closer to the outsourcing arrangement as a result of the significant time and money savings it offers. With BPO taking care of various business processes such as data storage, document conversion, customer care, logistics, legal processes, etc there is a lot of time and effort businesses can put into their core tasks. BPO providers also employ cutting-edge technologies that help bring down operational costs.
The BPO Industry Had to Adapt
Companies in the BPO field have had to adapt significantly. The challenges have mainly been felt in the data security and compliance areas. Industry leaders have managed to adapt, though others have struggled.
- One of the adaptations has been moving to the cloud. The dependence on the cloud has also made data access easier and improved business performance. It helped reduce various kinds of data storage and management issues. Advanced cloud platforms come with advanced security measures as well, as a result of which critical and confidential data has been moved to the cloud.
- The dependence on cloud has enabled outsourcing providers to survive with a reduced workforce as well as a remote workforce. They’ve had to work with 30% to 50% of their full capacity.
- Like the cloud, outsourcing providers also employed other technological advancements to cope with the challenges of the pandemic. As a result, new trends have emerged in the industry that could extend well beyond the pandemic era.
New Trends Developed
Here’s a detailed look into the trends:
New Compliance Measuring Techniques
There have been new principles developed to measure the level of compliance of businesses. Employees are now working from remote locations. There are greater risks for data breach than how it would have been if they were all working from a single location.
- With multiple access points, there need to be new methods to monitor employees.
- Live cameras at remote locations that particularly involve critical data would be helpful.
- Even monitoring these cameras requires manpower, but this can be done remotely as well.
This helps ensure that employees working remotely are following protocol.
Innovative Virtual Meetings
Advanced video conferencing platforms are already being used for virtual meetings. The online meeting could well be the norm even beyond 2021. Employee training will become more important for outsourcing providers to help them work flawlessly in remote workplaces. That will improve the compliance level. Technology and more of it will be the mantra.
Software for Scrutiny and Analysis
Part of this technology would be real-time scrutiny and analysis software. A scrutiny software package would run periodic tests to detect and report data breaches or any other wrongful activities by your remote working employees. What the scrutiny software does is detect employees and others getting access to unauthorized files. All the reporting happens in real time to ensure that organizations can attend to the data theft faster and block access before more damage is done.
Looking towards 2021 and beyond, technology, innovation and adaptation would be the factors determining the success of business process outsourcing solutions.