The Global Outsourcing Industry — the Rise of the Phoenix

Outsourcing is being transformed; digitalisation, automation, the Internet of Things, these are only a few of the elements that are shaping it now. All of these factors, as well as the outcome of the recent EU referendum in the United Kingdom and the subsequent Brexit are all coming together to reduce the existing out sourcing landscape to ashes, not only on the domestic market here in the British Isles but also further afield. 

However, the next generation of sourcing and shared services is emerging from the ashes: leaner more agile enterprises, new and improved skills, advancing Robotic Process Automation (RPA), better qualified workforces, new contracts that focus on innovation and value-added services.  Added to these are newly emerging sourcing destinations with ever-increasing social progress indicators. In fact, across Europe sourcing activity is currently reaching new heights, with volumes ahead of those in the Unites States in areas such as Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO).  

Let’s have a closer look at some of the processes that will shape the industry’s future.

As the new age of outsourcing dawns, new skills and competencies are coming to the fore along with a growing recognition of the need for global standards in order to maximise efficiency through the implementation of best practices.

Robotic Process Automation is one of the most exciting opportunities to hit the outsourcing world in recent years. For many, however, it remains shrouded in mystery. Whilst it promises to deliver significant added value, there is a great deal to learn for the managers who have been charged with the responsibility of realising RPA’s benefits and at the same time avoiding the pitfalls. Europe leads the charge in pioneering and successfully implementing RPA; the most prominent leaders in the industry share their views on what they believe will be the next wave of digital technology poised to take the industry by storm. 

With the demand for the full-time equivalent (FTE) model withering and labour arbitrage being replaced by automation, can we use design thinking to re-imagine the way in which services are delivered? Platform economy and “-As-a-Service” solutions are in the first new wave of design-thinking products but how can we progress this further to change how sourcing services are bought and sold and in such a manner that they meet the increasingly changing needs of the customer? 

There are also plenty of other questions. For example, the deployment of customer-centric strategies is on the increase but in the complex world of ever-demanding and ever-changing consumer behaviour, how do you map and align seamless journeys for tomorrow’s customers? How have the advances in technology increased agile sourcing and what is coming next? What impact is technology having on jobs and skills? How is the global talent pool shifting? How can people harness disruption and transform it into new skill sets and career paths? What impact can and do women have on the outsourcing sector?

Finally — Brexit. The majority of the outsourcing community didn’t want it but it’s happened anyway. As the European Union comes to terms with the outcome and work gets underway to prepare for the separation, we will bring you all the latest developments plus we’ll share expert views and opinions on it likely impact on everything from sourcing relationships, contracts, labour movement and skills to technology!

So how do you ensure your business is making the most of these opportunities? 

The European Outsourcing Association Leadership Summit and Awards provides the European and global sourcing community with an outstanding opportunity to learn about both global and local sourcing industry trends, new operating models and the latest standards to help you further develop best practice. You will have access to the knowledge, innovation and best practices that are creating — and taking advantage of — the newly emerging ecosystem. 


The EOA Leadership Summit and Awards will be held on October 5-6, 2016 in Sofia, Bulgaria (in the photo). It will offer a broad overview of the sector, free training on Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and the first ever EOA Hackathon (#EOA1.0). There will be an inaugural European Women in Outsourcing initiative, as well as an awards’ ceremony that recognises those judged to be the best in class in sourcing services and technology, legal counsel and relationship management, automation and innovation and most importantly, the announcement the Outsourcing Destination of 2016. Click here to register for the event.


The views expressed in this opinion editorial are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Emerging Europe’s editorial policy.