Beneficial Technologies That Support Business Process Outsourcing

Business process outsourcing (BPO) is the act of delegating various business operations to third parties.

Strategic outsourcing has become an extremely common business practice since it enables businesses to enlist the help of professional resources when hiring in-house workers isn’t the best option.

This can be especially beneficial when help is needed irregularly, and therefore does not require an in-house team.

Benefits of BPO

Although it can be applied in nearly every industry, several benefits occur consistently across every business that utilizes BPO. The benefits include:

  • Lowered expenses: one of the most common motives behind selective outsourcing is a lack of finances. Some businesses simply don’t have room in their budget to hire in-house employees.
  • Access to specialists: by outsourcing work, you may benefit from the work of specialists rather than assigning the tasks to an existing employee or hiring an unnecessary in-house specialist.
  • Higher efficiency and quality: due to the combination of the previously listed benefits, outsourced tasks may be completed to a higher standard in a shorter period.
  • Use of up-to-date resources: a hired specialist will likely have up-to-date knowledge and resources at their disposal. Most specialists also have experience with the obligations involved in freelance or contract work.
  • Increased flexibility: businesses that have inconsistent needs may benefit from outsourcing during busy periods.
  • The simplicity of trial-and-error: trying out a BPO partner is a simpler process than hiring internally. Instead of worrying about training new employees and prioritizing their employee experience, businesses only have to follow through with a contract with BPO partners.
  • Focus on major operations: by outsourcing, you can give yourself more time and resources to focus on your major business operations.
  • Ease of remote management: if you have multiple locations, it may be helpful to enlist the help of a remote BPO partner to handle certain tasks since hiring in-house employees for multiple locations could be expensive and unnecessary.

Drawbacks of BPO

With all the benefits associated with BPO, it may seem like a wonder why not all businesses utilize BPO, or why some even bother hiring in-house employees at all. Unfortunately, there are certain drawbacks that some businesses hesitate with. The potential drawbacks of it include:

  • Security problems: a BPO partner may not adhere to the same standard for security protocols that you do for in-house procedures. Additionally, the use of a BPO partner could risk exposure to important business data or information that was transmitted.
  • Dependence on the BPO partner: you could become reliant on your BPO partner to some degree, which could be a huge problem in a variety of scenarios. A loss of contact, technical difficulties on the partner’s part, or a business expansion could all risk the relationship with a BPO partner.
  • Communication hurdles: often, communication with a BPO partner will not be as seamless as internal communication. This is due to a variety of factors, including different communication mediums, differing business hours, and less direct accountability.
  • Less control: when you outsource work, many elements of business operations are now out of your hands. You may have different policies or standards in comparison to your BPO partner. This disparity could potentially cause problems later, such as late delivery of a product.

A mock street sign set against a blue sky. One sign reads, “Hire” while the perpendicular sign reads, Outsource.

Technology That Can Support BPO

Luckily, there is plenty of technology that could simplify the process of finding a BPO partner, and reduce some of the drawbacks that are associated with these kinds of business relationships. Developments in such supportive technologies may be a contributing factor to the increasing popularity of BPO.

Network Monitoring

As mentioned earlier, one of the concerns that some businesses have with BPO is the lack of control some have in regards to their partner’s work, and how this lack of control could eventually create security risks. Thankfully, network monitoring can assuage this worry.

Network monitoring is a process that enables IT professionals to determine whether a network is working properly in terms of performance, uptime and endpoint availability. Among other features, a network monitoring system can detect unauthorized devices on the network. The system would then notify the administrator to resolve the issue. This process can significantly improve cyber security and device management.

Moreover, network monitoring keeps tabs on all IT assets. Not only will IT know how well these assets are performing, they’ll know if assets are compromised. If new devices are connected to the monitored network, you’ll be able to monitor those devices.

Remote Monitoring and Management

Remote monitoring management is the automated process of monitoring a network for any anomalies or issues that may impact efficiency or security. For example, the system may determine that devices in a network are experiencing slow runtime performance. The system would then send an alert to the administrator, and the BPO partner can then begin to resolve the issue or create a report.

This system is not only beneficial to the business, but also to the BPO partner. The automated nature of the system allows everyone involved in a remote network to save time instead of wasting it on slow devices.

Time Tracking Software

Time tracking software is any type of software that helps a business track the time employees — in-house or not — spend working. Two of the most widely used types of time tracking software are timesheets and recording software.

The former is typically a simple system that allows users to document their time spent on a project and can help businesses provide accurate invoices for BPO partners or employees. The latter tracking system, on the other hand, allows a business to keep tabs on what activities an employee is doing on the clock.

Although the latter does provide businesses with a sense of control with remote management, it is often associated with ethical concerns. While it is natural to think that keeping a close eye on your employees’ actions is beneficial to productivity, it can have a negative effect.

It is certainly a failure of transparency to record employees’ activity without their knowledge, and the knowledge that they are being tracked may cause significant stress and stifle the healthy maintenance of individual work habits.

Online Job Boards

An online job board is a great way for a business to find and vet potential BPO partners. More and more freelancers rely on and utilize digital options such as job boards to find work, and more businesses need to adapt as well.

When you post a BPO opportunity, be sure to utilize a variety of job boards, take advantage of the helpful features offered, and use advertisement options if possible. These steps can improve visibility and help you narrow down your search more quickly.

It is important to keep in mind that when outsourcing tasks, you should review your relationship with the BPO partner regularly to ensure that the partnership is still serving you and operating efficiently.

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