The Top Outsourcing Trends of 2016

Fast-evolving technology and customer expectations are rapidly changing how companies use outsourcing to provide services they would find hard to deliver through in-house resources alone. Those new outsourcing strategies are in turn creating other new challenges and opportunities for global businesses.

Where organizations previously farmed out certain services primarily to save money, today they are embracing outsourcing for a number of other reasons as well. They are also working with a wider variety of service partners as digital business demands become ever-more complex.

Following are some of the top trends affecting how companies are using outsourcing to improve operations and services:

Growing Complexity

Businesses are finding that outsourced services can help them do much more than simply reduce workforce expenses or ramp up new employee teams quickly. Nathaniel Fleming, researcher on the Digital Product Innovation team at Forrester Research Inc., told us that complex digital transformation programs are leading companies to build much more strategic and collaborative relationships with their outsourcing partners.

"This trend is creating a convergence in the technology outsourcing industry as digital needs permeate engagements with management consultants, agencies, system integrators, and product development services firms," Fleming said. "All of these potential outsourcing partners are scrambling to either hire, train, or acquire the skill sets that they lack for these digital transformation projects to meet their clients' needs."

For outsourcing firms, this means growing pressure to broaden and diversify the services they offer. "The most successful outsourcing firms will be able to provide end-to-end services to their clients from business strategy and ideation through to technology implementation and management," Fleming said.

Enabling Innovation

As outsourcing providers' capabilities grow, their customers are discovering new and more strategic benefits to using their services. "Value, rather than cost, is the new watchword, and will likely be measured by how service providers help...

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