When done with the right motives, outsourcing some of your work load can help your company grow and cut costs, as well. Of course, if you want to fight Lex Luthor; you have to be on top of your outsourcing game. There are many reasons to outsource, some of which include:

  • Efficiency savings.
  • Lowered overhead.
  • Malleable staffing options.
  • Access to top-of-the-line global capabilities.
  • The opportunity to share risks.
  • Promoting company focus.

Over the past several decades, outsourcing has experienced highs and lows, in addition to positive and negative feedback. It can be a touchy issue, especially within the company’s host country. However, lessons have been learned, and these are the latest outsourcing trends that may even make your company act like a superhero.

Hybrid Offshoring Gains Traction

This form of outsourcing leverages the advantages of having onsite and offsite staff. The work is distributed both onshore and offshore. Normally, around 30% of the work is done at the company’s offices, and the rest is done offshore. This means that outsourcing 100% will no longer be the default means for cost-cutting. The goal is to find the best talent regardless of location. It would not make sense to give up top-notch employees in order to cut corners. In addition, if you don’t find areas where you can rein in your budget a bit, then it would be difficult to afford to hire the best and the brightest.

Machines Are Here to Stay

2014 will be the year of the robot. There will be a huge growth trajectory in the use of robots. In fact, many will be used to replace automated tasks performed by full-time employees overseas. This is certainly true in the logistics and manufacturing realms. Just think of the many jobs that robots are now able to fulfill such as that of a librarian, nanny, fast food cook, driver and postal worker. Robotic abilities are expected to grow even further as the development of artificial intelligence intensifies.

Make Use of Service Integration

Since outsourcing is now in its maturity, service integration is fast becoming an essential competency for companies. It is important to have a group to manage and oversee your outsourcing suppliers. Increasing the number of offshore suppliers only adds a level of complication and maybe even confusion that does not benefit your bottom line. You need someone who can bring the work and technologies, from various suppliers, together in a way that makes sense and facilitates seamless operations. Keeping this role in house improves:

  • Performance.
  • Expertise.
  • Control.

Insourcing Makes a Comeback

As employers have experienced some of the pitfalls of outsourcing such as a breakdown in communication, or even below-average work; insourcing is starting to become a lot more trendy. It won’t obliterate outsourcing, but it will take over some of the key workloads that benefit from taking place onsite. This process can involve obtaining specialists to complete temporary tasks, or training existing staff to enhance their current job functions. It is worth noting that if an offshore provider does a shoddy job, you still have to answer to your clients. Here are some other advantages of insourcing:

  • It keeps your intellectual property safe.
  • Execution may be quicker.
  • Decreased need for micro-management and documentation.
  • Diminished cultural variations.
  • Control over personnel attrition.
  • Reduced number of contracts to manage.

Analyzing Providers as a Group

Evaluating each offshore partner individually can be time-consuming and unfriendly towards your budget. However, if you place them together as a set of peers, you can also motivate them to have a competitive nature with one another. To illustrate, each partner is dependent upon the success of the other, or else they may all lose their contracts. Furthermore, none of them wants to be the weakest link so each party will be galvanized to work together towards a common goal. This increases the assets you receive as a result of mutual collaboration.

The Cloud Becomes More Adaptive

In its early stages, the cloud promised to be the end all and be all for most companies. And, many businesses ran to implement cloud technologies in hopes of staying ahead of the curve, and leading their competition. Now that this system has been around for a few years, consumers are a lot better educated and more savvy with regard to how it works. They have found that some versions of cloud offerings work for them while others don’t. More streamlined metrics needs to be used to gain the most out of your ROI, in addition to ensuring high-level performance. Not to mention, cloud strategies now have to be more strategic. As a result, cloud service providers will make their offerings even more flexible to meet the demands of experienced and knowledgeable clients.

Set Up Your Own Services Deals

Because you have access to a bevy of information on how to search for and set up outsourcing contracts, the need for costly third party consultants has gone down dramatically. Also, who else knows your company better than you do? This may not be the right option for large, complex contracts, but it does work for smaller deals with less intricacy. For example, you don’t need a third party to work on subscriptions, or to hire a handful of offshore contractors on an as needed basis. Outsourcing providers have also sensed the desire for more convenient and simple contracts. This may entail more standard and vanilla services, with less customization, but it also ensures that you can more easily manage the work without having to hire additional personnel.

Each year emerges with new trends in outsourcing as models improve, and other disappear. Keeping abreast of these movements enables you to have more options because you have a sharpened idea of the differences in new and older service offerings. Not to mention, you can improve upon your analysis of where outsourcing would be a boon to your business model, and where it may be too inefficient to justify. Just like a superhero, you will have the ability navigate through your choices with power, knowledge and support. And, you may very well defeat your version of Lex Luthor in the process.