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Back Office Outsourcing: Industry Trends in 2015

Author: Gretel Digo

Posted: January 12, 2015

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Back office services are a key component of any successful business. Back office refers to administrative and support functions that include accounting, record maintenance, clearances, contracts, and human resources.  Back office services are just as important to the bottom line and customer satisfaction as the prominent front office sales and production component.

2014 has been an incredible year for technology, and trend watchers expect advances in IT to continue to define the modern workplace and impact strategic business decisions.Product development, sales and marketing, back office functions and virtually all business processes will be increasingly centered on the consumer and will be underpinned by:

  • - Domination of smartphones, tablets and supercomputers
  • - Cloud-based services
  • - Cloud-based storage
  • - Integration of e-commerce and brick and mortar stores

Third party providers and back office outsourcing will continue to be relevant for companies looking to cut costs, increase profitability, and reduce risk.  Back office providers, especially in emerging markets, are under intense pressure to expand their offerings and innovate.  This means more options for businesses who want high-quality, reasonably priced staff and services.

It takes time for new technology to be adopted by the wider public, so the impact of these advances will be gradual.  Any change will mean trade-offs.  For business decision-makers, the key is to change not for the sake of being an early adopter, but to add value, make your customers happy, and improve profitability.

Cloud Accounting

Forbes.com predicts that 2015 will be the year the "cloud bursts." The case for enterprise cloud was made in 2014, and businesses will increasingly adopt cloud-based services in 2015 due to faster innovation, better flexibility, mobile access, cross-product integration, and wider connectivity.  Should you decide to transition a part or all services to the cloud and replace legacy systems, your staff will need new software and skills.

For businesses that do not have the budget or inclination to build their own in-house team, a back office service worth considering is cloud accounting.  Cloud accounting became a $1.7 billion industry in 2014, and it is expected to grow to $2.16 billion by 2016.  Cloud accounting is an excellent and cost-effective way to update legacy systems and integrate current software with more accessible and innovative systems.  Other benefits of cloud accounting include a real-time view of finances, automation of manual tasks like invoicing, lower infrastructure expenses, increased security, and easier collaboration.

Document and Data Processing

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is a suite of applications intended to collect, store, manage and interpret data.  In 2015, start-ups, medium-sized businesses, and large corporations will increasingly adopt mature enterprise resource planning software with improved SaaS security and privacy, in addition to on-premise and hybrid platforms.

More documents and multimedia will reside in the cloud, with security features that allow staff and consumers to view, print and annotate documents without making unnecessary copies.  The goal is to end endless email collaboration and the use of attachments that may pose a security risk.  Cloud-based services can also provide editing capabilities, integrated messaging, and detailed analytics on usage of valuable documents.

Many third party providers are now offering scalable data management solutions for companies who are unable or unwilling to invest in private software.  2015 is a great opportunity for providers to refine existing software even more and create better custom solutions.  Productivity suites in the cloud are here to stay and technology that can crunch big data is going to be sought after in 2015.  Big data solutions that allow companies to access insights into business processes affordably and quickly will be big as well.  Companies that need the most up-to-date tools are going to transition faster from on-premise to cloud.

HR Support and Personal Assistants

HR support trend watchers predict that companies will step-up their recruitment and retention initiatives as the economy continues to improve and vacancy rates increase.  Workforce intelligence is seen to be the key to better workforce management.  Workforce intelligence is a concept that uses research, evidence, and analysis for strategic workforce planning.  In 2015, organizations will leverage workforce intelligence to identify top performers, determine how compensation and other factors improve retention, and identify networks that produce the most top performers.  From simply hiring to meet demand, HR will focus on more proactive workforce planning. 

Companies who want to stay on top of recruitment and make the most out of their existing staff can partner with workforce planning consultants or staffing providers offshore.  An experienced third party that can manage short-term and long-term staffing needs is even more crucial in the face of new legislation like the Affordable Care Act.

Siri, Alexa, and "intelligent" virtual assistants are going to be more sophisticated, but the day they replace human assistants still belongs in the future.  Virtual assistants will continue to attract stressed out managers and business owners in 2015.  VAs who can communicate excellently in English and multiple languages, easily adapt to mobile technology and cloud services, and charge reasonable prices for their services are going to be in demand.

Back Office Outsourcing in the Philippines

Business process outsourcing is as constant as innovation in 2015.  Businesses will continue to leverage outsourcing to increase productivity, reduce risk and improve profitability while cutting costs.  Companies will continue to tap emerging markets like the Philippines for low-cost, high-quality staffing and back office services.

The Philippines remains one of the world's top outsourcing destinations, and the percentage of its employable workforce is growing to meet global demand.  Expect to see more varied, high-value offerings from many providers, even those whose traditional strength lies in call center support.

Learn more about back office outsourcing in the Philippines by reading this popular post -- Why the Philippines Remains a Top Global Back Office Services Provider & BPO Destination.


IS OUTSOURCING RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

Should you Outsource has a list of questions that may help in the decision-making process.  Or contact Philippine outsourcing company Sourcefit for a free, no-risk consultation with an expert. We'll help you determine the opportunities and possibilities.

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