100% is the answer for those who wonder how many companies do general outsourcing at a global level. In the meantime, detailed data show that the percentage of companies looking for outsourcing subsets such as BPO is also growing. European companies rank cost-effectiveness, access to advanced knowledge, skills, expertise, and technology as key drivers when deciding to outsource their services and functions to a partner company. European companies like many other companies located in a different region of the world look to IT work and business processes. BPO has seen a larger growth compared to ITO, which is often done in-house. On the other hand, BPO consists of outsourcing work that does not require advanced technical skills. Moreover, such processes are important for the company, but the latter does not depend on them when it comes to market competition.
Business process services
Call center and customer support
Finance and accounting
Testing and maintenance
IT helpdesk and support
Global spending on IT outsourcing and hardware maintenance, which includes computer hardware support services, networks, and other outsourcing, infrastructure outsourcing, hosting, application outsourcing, and application management, was expected to reach $503 billion in 2017.
Both business processes and IT services are applicable in a wide array of industries. Thus, all the above-mentioned processes and functions have a large potential for growth in the future. European companies prefer onshore or nearshore options when looking for outsourcing partners. There many countries especially in Eastern Europe that are considered emerging destinations for BPO and ITO. Some are known as locations for outsourcing internal and customer care operations. Meanwhile, other destinations are focused on more advanced services like BPO and ITO. Nearshore destinations offer great potential in evolving from sales and customer service to more complex processes such as analytics, FinTech, marketing, etc.
Albania as an emerging BPO/ITO destination
All these processes require a young and qualified workforce. The BPO and ITO industries offer wages higher than the average. The workforce varies from newly graduated students to qualified experts. Albania has a well-grounded tradition in BPO services. In 2017, the sector of services overpasses agriculture in terms of employment. The official unemployment rate during the third quarter of 2018 (Q3) was 23.2 percent. Despite the positive forecasts in the BPO industry, the main challenge of this sector in Albania is to help employees improve their skills. This can be achieved by expanding to advanced processes and functions.
More incentives are needed for the industry. Success stories in countries like the Philippines confirm that official backing and income tax exemption were crucial to the sector’s growth. State-supported initiatives in IT educational programs are needed to prevent the lack of specialists in the future.
BPO as a source of employment means that the industry needs to expand in cities other than Tirana. Currently, BPO is located in Durres, Elbasan, Shkodra, Fier, Gjirokastra, etc. The concentration of the majority of BPOs in the capital city makes it difficult to find office space. This has also an impact on the real estate market.
There is a need for better cooperation between the government, BPO-related associations, and companies.
Despite these challenges, there are many reasons why Albania can be your outsourcing destination. It offers high-quality services at a low cost.