Companies worldwide are responding to the increased costs of running a successful business and the heavy pressures of needing to be rapid and efficient. While outsourcing will guarantee process efficiencies and cost savings, business leaders worry that they may lose control over key processes through outsourcing. However, many companies such as Amazon, Vodafone, Virgin, IBM, Fujitsu, and Avis, still choose to outsource to South Africa.
Why South Africa?
Outsourcing in South Africa is cost-effective, making it the key reason that drives technology companies to SA.
In 2006, South Africa’s business process outsourcing (BPO) industry was valued at US$130-billion. Since then, there has been an incredible growth in the industry and it has been identified as a key sector in the country’s economy.
South Africa has many factors that provide value to IT companies:
- Brand protection
- Focus on customers
- Cost savings
- An advanced and growing IT industry
- Embracing technology strategies
- Favourable exchange rates
- Favourable time-zone
Large companies may be reluctant to outsource their services to South Africa when other countries such as India and the Philippines have over a million people working in the BPO industry.
But SA’s BPO industry provides value to companies in ways that other countries cannot and has become a favoured location for outsourcing IT among international software companies.
In 2014, a Fin24 reports showed that 73% of South Africa’s outsourcing services fall into the ever-growing IT industry.
The multinational software giant, SAP, has continued to work with South Africa’s technology group EOH. SAP celebrates SA’s focus on quality principles, excellence in execution, delivering low-cost implementations in a short time, and meeting process demands. EOH was named a top-performing partner of SAP.
Advantages of Outsourcing to South Africa
One of the greatest benefits to come out of outsourcing to South Africa is the incredibly low costs. India has become the outsourcing capital of the world, thus leading them to increase their service costs.
SA provides services with excellent quality and costs that are often lower than that of India’s. This makes SA a direct competitor to the outsourcing capital of the world.
Skills and Support Expertise
South Africa houses some of the world’s largest banks and insurance companies. This has led to the creation of many highly skilled and caring agents. These agents have the experience and training required to work with large organisations.
In addition to an affordable service, organisations partner with experienced and skilled experts.
World Class Digital Work
South Africa’s BPO industry is consistently growing and expanding to other countries. SA has become an expert in delivering high quality digital work. Outsourcing through SA adds the highest level of value to any organisation, differentiating it from other outsourcing destinations.
South African businesses have built effective working relationships with organisations all over the world, including Germany, France, Japan, USA, UK, and Australia.
Diverse Spoken Languages
It is essential that a focus is placed on clear communication. The work place language in South Africa is English. Furthermore, many South Africans are bi-lingual due to the diverse culture in the country. Thus, it is easy to find someone who speaks any language and understands any dialect. This can enable communication in a language that the organisation is more comfortable with.
It is imperative that nothing is communicated ambiguously or lost in translation. The fact that many South Africans speak another language in addition to English will greatly enhance the quality of service.
South Africa is internationally recognised for its diverse culture and attraction to many countries. How does this benefit an organisation looking to outsource in South Africa?
It is important to have a great and fundamental understanding of the cultures of the people that the business will engage with. South Africa’s diverse society leads it to be sensitive and understanding of different cultures. This is great for international outsourcing. Organisations can find agents from all over the world.
A new way forward
It is a believed that outsourcing means giving up control to key business processes. This is not true.
Many companies have shared their unwillingness to outsource due to this misconception. However, getting over this fear has proven to be beneficial for said companies. After outsourcing, business leaders are no longer worried about issues that do not make up the core business objective.
Businesses in SA’s BPO industry recognise the value they can bring to technology organisations and strive to reduce costs and improve efficiencies.
The benefits of outsourcing non-core functions to a skilled and specialised operator far outweighs any possible drawbacks; the outsourcing process enables the organisation to focus on its core business model and stimulates growth in the organisation.
South Africa has constantly exceeded its outsourcing capabilities in IT services and continues to do so. Whilst there may be obstacles present, the advantages of outsourcing far outweigh any of the obstacles. It all comes down to whether you want to continue insourcing and risk missing your true potential, or whether you are willing to play the big game and win.