Traditionally, the business heads for, say, human resources or finance and accounting would sign a business process outsourcing (BPO) agreement with a supplier. Then, after the fact, they'd go to the CIO and ask if IT could integrate the newly acquired service into the corporate system.
Today, however, as companies seek greater synergies and try to jump-start growth coming out of the recession, the relationship between IT and BPO is strengthening and becoming increasingly vital. "The link between technology and BPO is becoming more important now," Anoop Sagoo, a senior executive with Accenture, told CIOZone. Indeed, that link is critical to many third-generation outsourcing strategies designed to reap the benefits from improving inefficient processes and functions. IT, Sagoo says, provides the major underpinning for -- and payoff from -- this goal.
Which for the CIO can prove both a difficult challenge -- BPO can be extremely complex and its benefits may seem elusive -- and an opportunity for IT leaders to provide strategic vision and leadership on an enterprise-wide basis. Indeed, by taking a leading role in integrating IT outsourcing (ITO) and BPO, the CIO can achieve a degree of business and IT alignment that would have been out of reach not long ago.
Like ITO, the BPO market is dynamic and currently in flux. Here are six trends CIOs need to track in order to keep up to speed: