Document management tops Australian BPO survey

Printing/Document Management is the leading driver of Australian adoption of Business Process Outsourcing, according to a new Research Report conducted for  the Australian Business Process and Outsourcing Association.

The survey of 216 organisations across Australia found 44% currently outsource at least one business process, while 59% of smaller employers outsource at least one business process.

The top three outsourced business processes are:
- Printing & Document Management (PDM) at 18%;
- Human Resources (HR) at 15%; and
- Finance & Accounting (F&A) at 13%

In the next 12 to 24 months, HR outsourcing is expected to grow to 23 percent.

The report also showed significant anticipated growth in business process outsourcing activity among large organisations with between 1,000 to 5,000 employees (this constituted one-third of all respondents). This group of Australian organisations is expecting an increase of 20 percent over the next two years.

“The report reflects the rapid pace of change and maturity that the BPO industry has undergone over the last decade. It has evolved from pure cost cutting, to improved efficiency, to strategic transformation and an important part of business strategy,” said Russell Ives, Director, Global Process Services, IBM Growth Markets. The survey was sponsored by IBM Australia.

“The report highlights that Australia’s senior business community are aware of the benefits of outsourcing and decision makers are looking towards higher order benefits such as improving financial flexibility, driving free cash flow, strengthening customer satisfaction, increasing market penetration, expanding into emerging markets and taking advantage of the opportunities with a global economy,” said Ives.

Another trend emerging in the outsourcing sector is the increased use of cloud services. A large number of organisations are now considering cloud computing (35 percent) when making the decision to outsource, yet a marginal proportion (15 percent) of organisations have adopted cloud computing at an enterprise level as part of their outsourcing strategy.