2017 has been an interesting year for the BPO Industry to say the least. At the start of the year, there was both excitement and cautiousness over what the perceived trends would bring. With a new American president, it was uncertain how industries would react or even sustain themselves in the coming year. Despite these concerns, the BPO Industry has responded to all the challenges and has come out stronger than ever.
With only a few months left in 2017, we’ve observed some emerging trends that could carry it into 2018. These trends, we believe, are early indicators of what the BPO Industry can expect in the coming year.
More Stability and Growth
Despite early jitters in the year, the BPO Industry in the Philippines will continue to prosper for a long time. There was initial uncertainty on how it would be impacted due to President Trump focusing on “Buy American, hire American.”
Amidst all of Trump’s controversial rhetoric, the BPO Industry remained steadfast and experienced growth in the last few months. As a major part of the Philippine economy, the BPO Industry is poised to experience continued and “unstoppable” growth. Even with some setbacks, the Philippines is still on track to a 6.5-7.5 percent growth by the end of 2017.
Continued Expansion in Different Ways
Just a few years ago, BPO companies were largely known as offering voice-only, customer service roles, within the IT industry. Today, the right service provider offers a wide range of non-voice roles while also venturing into different industries. It may have been unheard of previously to hire offshore graphic designers, accountants, lawyers and nurses. However, thanks to online communication developments, this is what the business landscape looks like now. We believe that more businesses will look to offshoring and outsourcing to address their growing needs.
With regards to the Philippines, more cities in the country are being considered as outsourcing destinations as well. According to the most recent Tholons report, Manila is still considered one of the Top 5 “Super Cities” for outsourcing. While Manila remains the best outsourcing destination in the Philippines, expanding development into different cities can only be a good thing for the country.
The Eventual Rise of AI
Lately, there has been plenty of news regarding the use of Artificial Intelligence in the BPO Industry. The automation it provides will certainly mean for more efficient processes for otherwise minor and mundane functions. However, there is resistance to the use of fully-AI reliant systems, especially within the BPO Industry. Experts say that the “”human element” is what drives the BPO Industry and losing it will be a risk in the long run.
The BPO Industry prides itself at being in the forefront of new innovations for business trends, like the use of AI. On the other hand, companies that find the right balance of automation and human effort may have a greater advantage in the coming years. It will be interesting to see how companies adapt to AI systems, if at all.
What These Mean for the BPO Industry
The BPO Industry will continue to prosper for the next five years as it maintains its growth and also adapts to new trends. It will also continue to be a reliable business strategy to be considered, regardless if they are a mid, large or listed company. The use of AI technologies certainly has the potential to shape the future of the industry, but one should also not discount the value of using highly skilled and versatile employees.
There’s also plenty of indication that the Philippines remains a definitive choice for BPO companies. Not just because of its significance to its GDP but also the quality of workers that people can find in the country. Although it’s possible for trends to change over time, partnering with the right provider will guarantee you are ready to take on and adapt to any challenge that comes your way.