5 Trends in IT Outsourcing for 2021
2020 was a difficult year for everyone across the globe, both people and businesses. Faced with a worldwide pandemic, companies were forced to quickly adapt their ways of working, speeding up their digital transformation efforts by several years. While some of the measures that have been taken might be temporary, others have caused a permanent shift in the “business as usual” for most organizations – and IT outsourcing companies are no exception to this.
As we take a closer look at these business trends in IT outsourcing for 2021, can you identify which ones were driven by COVID-19?
1. Remote or Hybrid Workforce
Though the popularity of remote had been gradually increasing in some countries for the past years, it took a huge leap during 2020, as companies all over the world were forced to adopt telework policies in an effort to contain the pandemic. But what started out as a temporary measure is looking more and more like the future of work in most organizations.
The key word is “flexibility”, as the hybrid work model gains momentum. According to a Eurofound e-survey, over 75% of EU employees want to continue working from home after COVID-19, combining teleworking with presence in the workplace. And if there is a sector where remote or hybrid work is possible, it’s definitely in IT. Remote job applications have more than doubled since March 2020, with technology being one of the three top job areas in this segment, Linkedin estimates.
2. Focus on Cybersecurity
The United Nations reported a 600% increase in malicious emails during the pandemic, estimating that one cyberattack is taking place around the world every 39 seconds. With most of their employees working from home (and using their personal network connections), companies are more vulnerable to cybercriminals. As such, securing their network infrastructure and data has become an IT top priority for companies, with 68% of most major organizations planning on increasing their cybersecurity spending following the coronavirus outbreak. Whether is this or ensuring compliance with European GDPR standards, businesses will most likely be looking into external partners for technical expertise, rather than relying on an in-house team alone.
3. Shift in Outsourcing Relations
As concerns with cybersecurity and data privacy grow, and digital transformation moves up in companies’ priorities, IT outsourcing providers are more and more being seen as key strategic partners, with businesses looking at long-term partnerships with trusting vendors. Moreover, the fast-paced rhythm at which the tech sector is evolving fosters the emergence of smaller, niche software companies. On their end, larger providers are investing in the creation of specialized teams, offering 360º software development services to their customers.
4. Growing Request for Nearshore Services
Cost saving has always been a key factor for turning to IT outsourcing companies. However, with the role of external IT partners gradually taking on more responsibilities within the clients’ business strategies, ensuring high-quality service is now a priority when choosing an IT provider. This shift represents a continuously higher demand for Nearshore services in countries such as Portugal – where expert software developers at competitive prices, high-quality ICT infrastructures and a similar time zone make it an attractive location to establish a remote team.
5. Increasing Demand for Mobile and Web Apps
As the majority of consumers worldwide rely primarily on mobile for their online activities, more and more businesses need to think mobile-first on all their digital projects – and IT partners need to be ready to provide satisfying solutions. This includes both development as well as design and usability, as customers become more demanding for a better user experience.
Whether it’s through a mobile app or a progressive web app, companies must ensure their users can browse seamlessly on their platform, if they want to ensure they remain competitive.
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