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  • 7 Trends Driving the Shift to Document Outsourcing in 2017

  • 7 TRENDS DRIVING THE SHIFT TO DOCUMENT OUTSOURCING IN 2017

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    While the classic motivations for outsourcing such as reducing costs, increasing efficiencies, and gaining competitive advantages remain; as we head toward 2017, it is clear that a myriad of other trends that organizations across verticals are experiencing, are driving a need for new and evolving outsourced services. The list of challenges to solve, and motivations for businesses to find new outsourcing solutions, is not short; as changes in technology, customer expectations, shrinking profits, and exploding bottom line costs have created a need for innovative, new approaches to efficiently running a business of any size, in any industry.

    Worlds collide - consumers expect more personalized communications across their preferred channels. While on the flipside, traditional mailroom operations – the people sending these customer communications – are being overwhelmed by an explosion in the volume of data created by businesses since the dawn of the information age.

    Cyber-attacks have grown exponentially, not only in volume, but also in terms of the reputational and operational damage such a breach can cause. Conversely, technology has also presented opportunities for businesses to manage their employees in new, more flexible ways, giving rise to the mobile workforce.

    But managing a newly mobile workforce is not the only workplace trend that’s driving a need for new and innovative employee and business-need support solutions; skyrocketing real estate costs are giving business managers plenty of reason to find contemporary ways to reclaim square footage, and flexibly manage their office real estate.

    Further seeking ways to optimize their workforce, and on-site experience, more firms are closing on-site skill gaps with outsourced, shared staffing models that shift hiring and training to a third party.

    And finally, as enterprises evaluate and experiment with new outsourcing arrangements, an emphasis on vendor management has come to the forefront, as managing multiple provider relationships can nullify many of the benefits a single outsourcing partner can provide.

    This report will take a look at these new drivers, as well as the solutions that meet these evolving needs.

    TREND 1 Moving Traditional, On-site Print to an Outside, or Off-site Print Provider

    A combination of factors is driving this trend. Consumers are expecting more in terms of the way they communicate with companies they are clients of, which creates a two-fold pressure on companies seeking to effectively communicate with their constituents; a need for multichannel capability, and mass personalization. Digital communications have driven this shift, supported by sophisticated data management and workflows that provide firms with the ability to create consistent, multichannel content.

    Variable data print (VDP) is the essential prerequisite for customization, and the net effect is a forecast of a slow decline in static print (0.5% per year to 2017) contrasted with rapid growth of digital – around 14% for advanced variable data Ink Jet – to double digital print’s share of total print volume to 28% by end-of-year 2017.

    When technology is evolving this rapidly, it makes sense for businesses who do not specialize in print to move these operations to an off-site vendor, placing those capital expenditures required to keep pace with evolving print technology onto the books of the outsourcer, and not the client.

    New Outsourcing Drivers, New Outsourcing Trends

    Variable data print (VDP) is the essential prerequisite for customization, and the net effect is a forecast of a slow decline in static print (0.5% per year to 2017) contrasted with rapid growth of digital – around 14% for advanced variable data Ink Jet – to double digital print’s share of total print volume to 28% by end-of-year 2017.

    As the drivers motivating organizations to outsource have evolved, so have the solutions that outsourcing providers have to support them.

  • 7 TRENDS DRIVING THE SHIFT TO DOCUMENT OUTSOURCING IN 2017

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    TREND 2 New Mail Center Management Strategies

    It is not just the creation of marketing and transactional materials that is being outsourced; enterprise-level inbound and outbound mailroom management is being revolutionized. According to document outsourcing industry research, businesses are benefiting from improved service levels (90%), access to industry best practices (89%), cost savings (85%), and access to skilled talent (77%) by outsourcing mail support functions.

    For in-bound mail, many firms are realizing that mailroom and document management needs have grown so much that related costs and quality issues are distracting from core business functions. These firms are bringing managed service providers on-site to provide innovative delivery solutions like mail locker systems for centralized deliveries, injecting advanced analytics for better tracking and troubleshooting.

    Businesses are benefiting from improved service levels (90%), access to industry best practices (89%), cost savings (85%), and access to skilled talent (77%) by outsourcing mail support functions.

    TREND 3 Increased Cybersecurity Efforts

    In one much publicized trend, cyber-attacks have risen precipitously in recent years, creating a need for increased cybersecurity. Because of this, organizations of all sizes are turning to outsourcing vendors to shore up their cybersecurity efforts. One recent study, conducted by researchers at Gartner, showed that 73% of respondents noted considering cyber risks during the outsourcing process, and 23% of respondents indicated that cyber risks are influencing their decisions to outsource due to uncertainty of the level of security outsourcers can feasibly deliver on a consistent basis. Popular, outsourcing based solutions include an arrangement with a managed

    security service provider (MSSP) who supplies outsourced cloud data storage, or monitoring and management of security devices and systems. Common services include managed cloud data storage, intrusion detection, virtual private cloud- based networking, vulnerability scanning and anti-viral services.

    Gartner, showed that 73% of respondents noted considering cyber risks during the outsourcing process, and 23% of respondents indicated that cyber risks are influencing their decisions to outsource

    TREND 4 Mobile Workforce

    Technology that has enabled employees to be connected from anywhere at any time, and the work-life balance preferences of many younger workers have combined to quickly create a large-scale mobile workforce. According to new research from International Data Corporation (IDC), the U.S. mobile worker population will grow at a steady rate over the next five years, increasing from 96.2 million in 2015 to 105.4 million mobile workers in 2020. By the end of the forecast period, IDC expects mobile workers will account for nearly three quarters (72.3%) of the total U.S. workforce.

    The benefits of such a management strategy are clear. As noted in one study looking at this phenomenon as conducted by the

    Society for Human Resource Management; executives cited the most important benefits of having a mobile workforce as: employee satisfaction (26%), competitive advantage (25%), and cost savings (22%). However, this strategy does not come without challenges, either. Executives cited their biggest concerns about managing mobile workers as: employee management/supervision and productivity (46%), measurement of program success (20%), and rising costs (10%). As such, 10% of respondents managing small, medium, or large companies who are not currently outsourcing, are in fact considering doing so with their enterprise mobile workforce management, in the future. These organizations are looking to outsourcing companies to address their mobile workforce needs with solutions such as hoteling support technology. Hoteling solutions can help organizations, such as these, gain greater visibility into their utilization of space and streamline their day-to-day tasks such as room reservations and workspace management. The rise of the mobile workforce is great for businesses in many ways, but it also means that companies need to invest in agile solutions in order to meet the growing demands of mobile employees.

    IDC expects mobile workers will account for nearly three quarters (72.3%) of the total U.S. workforce.

  • 7 TRENDS DRIVING THE SHIFT TO DOCUMENT OUTSOURCING IN 2017

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    TREND 5 Shared-Staffing

    In a somewhat related trend, many businesses are outsourcing front desk and other front or back office support positions, in a shared staffing model (SSM) arrangement. Decreasing worker loyalty has created high-turnover conditions across industries, and in addition to cost savings, has emerged as a key driver for the adoption of these types of practices. To help fill in employee skill and knowledge gaps left behind by turned-over workers, employers are turning to these outsourced shared staffing models. In such an arrangement, firms not only gain access to on-demand headcount, but also can leverage their

    partner’s industry expertise and well-developed best practices. Shared staffing arrangements provide a two-fold benefit; the cost-savings as one, but more importantly, access to industry and functional-area expertise through experienced employees retained by the outsourcer. For example, in one study conducted by Deloitte, 100% of respon

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