Is 2008 the Year of the Chief Outsourcing Officer?

By Erika Morphy
Jan 2, 2008 4:00 AM PT

2008 may be the year the outsourcing function or process in a business becomes as standardized and mainstream as, say, accounting or human resources.

Is 2008 the Year of the Chief Outsourcing Officer?

Outsourcing, of course, has been an integral part of the global economy with countless firms handing off to third party providers their contact center operations, payroll, manufacturing and even research and development. These trends have been met with equal parts revulsion (as jobs are lost) and admiration (as companies become even more globally competitive). Love outsourcing or hate it, though, the missing factor up until now has been the recognition that it is a corporate function and a profession in its own right.

A Mature Practice

Now, as outsourcing becomes a "mature" practice, that recognition is gaining increasing currency in all circles, according to Michael F. Corbett, chairman of the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP).

"Outsourcing is maturing in every dimension. We are seeing more firms seeking out certified professionals to lead their efforts, as the decision making becomes more complex," he told CRM Buyer.

New Trends

The decision of whether and what to outsource has never been an easy one, but in the past it often was based on cost-cutting factors or some sort of trade-off or arbitrage. New trends in the economy and among consumers, though, have introduced an added layer of complexity to the decision-making process.

The good news for companies is that while there are new considerations, there are also greater benefits to be realized -- especially as becoming a global company is no longer an option but an imperative.

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