The current BPO age is addressed as ‘version 3.1’ and the current ITO age is referred to as ‘version 4.0’.From the initial allure of reducing costs, primarily from labor arbitraging, today the market has matured enormously. Buyers are looking for value beyond cost arbitrage and efficiency gains. In order to provide focused and better services vendor need specialization. Thus, companies armed with deep vertical expertize will benefit.
Anoop Sagoo, BPO cross operating group lead, Accenture offers his perspective on outlook 2012.
GS: What are the new drivers for BPO in 2012?
AS:In the past couple of years, we’ve seen BPO moving away from transaction processing and moving towards a driver of business value. Clients want BPO to help operate their businesses better and to deliver measurable business outcomes. They also are looking for more industry-specific BPO offerings, and services are moving from the back office to the mid- and front office.
BPO today is about mining the huge volume of transactional data that is being processed – and using industry expertise,analytics and innovation to help a client operate its business better and drive business outcomes – which Accenture callsfourth Generation BPO. The ability to undertake analytics on transactions, understand the insights and then identify opportunities to improve and add value to the client’s business is what our clients expect from BPO.
GS: Which are some of the most promising verticals in BPO for 2012?
AS: In BPO, our clients are looking to leverage scale, industry expertise, analytics and technology for expanded industry-specific BPO services. As a result, we have seen a surge of interest for industry-specific BPO offerings such as care management, health administration, mortgage, insurance, communication network, life sciences, consumer goods and utilities services.
GS: What is the outlook 2012?
AS: As a business partner, clients will expect a far greater expertise in vertical industry knowledge from their providers as well as the latest combined BPO and IT outsourcing capabilities. Providers will need to possess industry, technical and functional knowledge. They will need the proven ability to deliver end-to-end processes and deploy analytics in order to identify opportunities to improve and add value to a client’s business.And they need a strong transformational capability by making change management a priority.
Those providers with the ability to bring these elements to their clients will be well-placed to succeed in 2012 – and those that continue to view the market as one in which it's all about “lift and shift”, transactional processing and cost alone will be challenged.
In both ITO and BPO, high performing businesses will continue to extract significantly more value out of their investments if they approach outsourcing as a partnership with their service providers. Buyers are looking at outsourcing as a driver of business value -- to help operate their businesses better and to deliver measurable business outcomes – and that is best achieved with a true business partner. To that end, we expect clients to be much more discerning about their outsourcing providers.