Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Outsourcing crunch time

Regular readers of this blog will know that I have regularly commented on the hype surrounding outsourcing. Outsourcing is definitely here to stay, but as firms' experiences of outsourcing have matured and some of the gloss has gone off outsourcing as being a cost-effective panacea for companies' woes, outsourcing entered the 'trough of disillusionment' for some firms.

Having said that, the latest quarterly stats from sourcing advisers, TPI, suggests that outsourcing is on the rise, particularly in Europe, which has now surpassed the US in terms of total number of contracts signed (220 valued at €32.7 billion) compared to 194 contracts signed in the US valued at €21.3 billion.

While in the past a significant portion of contracts signed were renewals of existing outsourcing business, according to TPI, in 2007, the annualised value of new contracts awarded in Europe was up almost 31% on 2006 levels, compared with an increase of 13% globally.

And it seems financial services firms are once again leading the way in the demand for outsourcing, representing more than 38% of the total value of outsourcing contracts signed. According to TPI, the worldwide market for Financial Service Operations (FSO) outsourcing has grown by 22.5% since 2003.

I think we have only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to outsourcing by financial service providers. A number of regulatory imperatives (Basel II, MiFID, SEPA) is placing significant demands on banks' back offices, and not all banks are well positioned to meet those demands in terms of their systems and investment capability.

Some difficult decisions have yet to be made by financial institutions regarding their back office processing, whether it is in the securities or payments business. Crunch time is rapidly approaching for them to decide what is strategic to their business and what they can outsource or white label.

3 comments:

Inside Outsourcing said...

Though some have failed in using outsourcing as a strategic tool, it doesn’t mean that others will too. Remember, the worth of any tool can be increased a hundredfold if used wisely.

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