5 Outsourcing Trends in 2016: The Year of the Acronyms

Posted by Francine Haliva on Feb 4, 2016 8:26:53 AM

Apparently, in the race to be the most efficient and reduce every cost, we don't have time to read a full word…or we can't afford them. If you are like me, this means looking up every other acronym you come across when reading industry publications (can we get a robot to do this for us?). To help other acronym-challenged individuals, I have included a very handy acronym key at the end of this post.

So which trends/acronyms will influence and transform the outsourcing industry in 2016? Let's take a look at what the experts have to say:

1. Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Believe the hype: RPA is coming through on its promise to make our lives easier and more efficient and it is here to stay.  Although companies may have initially struggled to understand the technology and its capabilities, reports released by HfS research and Gartner in 2015, went a long way to explain and confirm RPA benefits.  In 2016, BPOs should expect their enterprise clients to ask about implementing RPA as a part of their intelligent business process management suite (iBPMS), if they haven't done so already.

Related: A BPO's Guide to Choosing the Best Robotic Process Automation Solution

2. Phantom Robotic Process Automation (PRPA)

According to Gartner, it is critical for BPOs to enlarge their repertoire of automation tools, including phantom robotic process automation to remain competitive. Gartner defines PRPA as a combination of user interface (UI) recognition technologies and workflow execution that emulates the work of a human using screen and keyboard to drive applications and execute system based work.  The "phantom robot" is programmed to follow predetermined computer pathways between the screen and data repositories to move or populate data between locations, conduct calculations, perform actions and trigger downstream activities. 

3. The Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things and disruptive technologies such as mobility, cloud, 3D printing and autonomous cars are bringing in the next phase of growth the BPO sector.  According to Peter Ankerstjerne, Head of Group Marketing at ISS World Services,  "The future of outsourcing will be focused on increasing efficiency, adapting to new technologies (especially the Internet of Things), helping the core organization to stay relevant and innovative and finally focus on winning the 'War for Talent' and to attract and retain employees within the organization."

4. Socially Responsible Outsourcing (SRO) also know as Impact Sourcing

Socially Responsible Outsourcing, AKA Impact sourcing, is a business process delivery model built on a foundation of social responsibility that will become better known in 2016. Its aim is to deliver quality service at significantly lower costs and with lower employee attrition rates, while employing socioeconomically disadvantaged workers in BPO centers. The Rockefeller Foundation along with The Everest Group estimate Impact Sourcing currently employs approximately 240,000 people globally, with plenty of opportunity for future growth.  In 2016, Impact Sourcing is expected to gain traction as corporations work to meet objectives for diversity and social responsibility.

5. Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO)

Organizations that implemented BPO strategies have experienced great gains in efficiencies and cost savings.  As a result of this success, companies are now considering outsourcing activities that involve core processes and competitive knowledge that traditionally would not be considered good candidates for outsourcing.  Described as Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), this field encompasses tasks requiring high research and analysis skills, often performed by people with advanced business, legal, scientific or engineering degrees. According to the Global Knowledge Process Outsourcing Market 2015-2019 report by the Research and Markets analyst group, the global KPO market is predicted to grow at a combined annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23% by 2019.


Outsourcing Acronym Key and Glossary Terms:


application programming interface


business process management suite


business process outsourcing


combined annual growth rate


full-time equivalent


graphical user interface


intelligent business process management suite


knowledge process outsourcing


Internet of Things


IT outsourcing


optical character recognition


phantom robotic process automation


robotic process automation


socially responsible outsourcing AKA impact sourcing


user interface

Topics: BPO, Robotic Process Automation

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