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Offshore, Outsourcing: les prochains secteurs

Offshoring: It's not just for IT, anymore
Sylvia Carr

Lawyers, accountants and scientists are next...

For most people, the word offshoring brings to mind IT work and low-skill jobs such as call centres.
Yet the next big wave is going to involve the outsourcing of high-skill or 'knowledge' jobs such as accountants, lawyers, engineers and doctors to foreign countries.
Mark Kobayashi-Hillary, author of Outsourcing to India: The Offshore Advantage, said: "This is the hot growth area [for offshore outsourcing]."
Knowledge process offshoring, or KPO, is expected to grow faster over the next six years than general business process outsourcing, or BPO, a term used to refer the outsourcing of a complete business function such as HR.
KPO revenues will grow 46 per cent to $17bn by 2010, according to business research firm Evalueserve. Although larger overall, BPO revenues will grow just 26 per cent to to $39.8bn by 2010.
Examples of KPO would include a law firm outsourcing basic case research to paralegals in a foreign country or pharmaceutical firms conducting R&D for new drugs in offshore facilities.
India would be particularly well-suited for KPO because of its abundance of educated workers.
"India has huge potential resources with lots of chartered accountants and skilled lawyers," said Kobayashi-Hillary.
Evalueserve predicts India alone will provide $12bn worth of KPO services by 2010. This compares to the $720m it provided in 2003. Other promising locations for this type of offshoring include Russia, Canada, China and Israel.
Cost savings are the number one motivator for offshoring IT and business processes but this is an even greater factor with high-skilled work, said Kobayashi-Hillary, because "the potential savings between hiring a chartered account in the UK and in India are much larger than, say, a call centre worker".
Commissioning an intellectual property lawyer to write a patent application, for example, could be as much as 50 per cent cheaper in India than the US, according to Evalueserve.
At the same time, the value of KPO lies not only in pure pounds or dollars saved but also in the strategic benefits that trained foreign workers can provide. "You start talking about being able to tap into large amounts of skilled resources and being able to do things that might be quite impossible to do in London," said Kobayashi-Hillary.
For example, a small UK accountancy firm could offer a new service, such as tax return preparation, that it wasn't able to do earlier because of the hassle and expense of hiring additional personnel for just one or two customers.
The key to success with KPO, as with all outsourcing, is communication. The people hired need to know exactly what's expected of them.
This is why outsourcing well-defined work, such as call centres, has thrived.

août 26, 2004 in Délocalisation, Externalisation, Offshore programming, Outsourcing | Permalink


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