Top outsourcing trends for 2008

Watch for social responsibility and global talent wars in outsourcing

Socially responsible outsourcing, global competition for talented employees and a power shift among outsourcing players will be among the key trends in the coming year, according to the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP).

The Poughkeepsie, N.Y.-based IAOP predicts the following five outsourcing developments for 2008:

1. Socially Responsible Outsourcing

Outsourcing increasingly will be recognized for the value it brings to communities around the globe and companies engaged in outsourcing will be acknowledged for being good corporate citizens.

“With the shaky United States economy, presidential elections looming and a heightened awareness of how everyone’s actions impact the environment, outsourcing is poised to go politically correct in 2008,” said IAOP chairman Michael Corbett.

2. Outsourcing Professionals Wanted

Outsourcing professionals will be sought after, valued and compensated for their important role in business. Today, more than 150,000 professional are involved in the $6-trillion global outsourcing industry and these numbers and the professionalism of the industry is only expected to continue to grow.

“The C-level suite is recognizing the importance of outsourcing,” said IAOP managing director of thought leadership Jagdish Dalal. “More and more outsourcing professionals will sit at the executive table with senior executives and define the very shape of business.”

3. Global Talent Wars

Attracting, developing and retaining talented employees will become a major challenge for both outsourcing service providers and businesses building their internal capabilities as outsourcing increases in developing countries, especially India.

“The global talent wars will further widen the economic gap between the cost of talent management and expected cost baseline,” said Dalal.

4. Power Shifts from Dominant Players

Outsourcing industry leadership will move from a small group of U.S.-based service companies that have dominated the industry since its inception, including IBM, EDS, CSC and Accenture, to include foreign companies that are growing, such as TCS, Infosys and Wipro.

“The landscape is shifting, with large U.S. companies becoming major ‘offshore’ players while offshore players are establishing U.S. footholds through acquisitions and by establishing their own facilities,” said Corbett.

5. Globalization: A Race to the Finish Line

While businesses race to build their global talent portfolio, the best will all have their basics in place by the end of 2008. What was until just recently a new strategy for companies to offer competitive differentiation is now required of all. Any company not already well into the outsourcing game is at serious risk in today’s economy.

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