The Silent Surge: UK’s Outsourcing Revolution Post-Pandemic

In a Post-Pandemic World, UK Businesses Lean on Outsourcing Like Never Before

2 mins read

Key Takeaways

  • Stunning growth: 48% of UK companies have turned to outsourcing in 2023, marking a 41% increase post-pandemic.
  • Virtual business on the rise: A specific Virtual Business Assistant firm witnessed an astonishing 325% growth since the pandemic.
  • B2B shifts: 70% of B2B decision makers have embraced outsourcing in some facet of their business operations.

Rising Outsourcing Trends

August 2023 has brought light to intriguing datasets from leading analysts such as Deloitte, IBISWorld, and YouGov. These data sets suggest a seismic shift in the way UK businesses operate, with a whopping £571 billion predicted to be pumped into outsourcing by year-end.

In contrast to 2020, when only a third of UK businesses hinted at the possibility of escalating their outsourcing endeavours, the current figures indicate an undeniably growing trend. In 2022, the allocation for outsourcing stood at an already staggering £500 billion.

Diversifying Sectors & The Outsourcing Pivot

Outsourcing has not been exclusive to one industry. IT outsourcing, for instance, has surged by 22% since 2019. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is another area predicted to see significant investments, with an expected spend of £212 billion in 2023, marking a 19% growth since 2019.

Navigating Inflationary Waters

As inflation continues its upward trend, businesses are predicted to increasingly resort to outsourcing, intending to trim recruitment costs and other related expenditures. When faced with the challenges inflation presents, businesses are exploring outsourcing as a viable strategy to ensure they remain competitive while managing their rising operational expenses.

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A Deeper Dive into Global Outsourcing

YouGov’s data further reveals the extent of this trend. An overwhelming 70% of B2B decision-makers confessed to outsourcing a portion of their business. The data intriguingly also highlights the difference in preferences between larger corporations and smaller enterprises. While IT support remained a popular outsourcing choice across the board, financial management services were particularly favored by smaller businesses.

Business Process Outsourcing Unpacked

BPO is a key player in this outsourcing wave. At its core, it deals with entrusting crucial business support functions, like IT, accounting, and HR, to external specialists. This approach ensures businesses function smoothly, harnessing the benefits of specialized knowledge without the associated overheads.

Startups, it seems, are particularly enamoured with BPO services, especially in areas such as IT and bookkeeping. The startup boom in the UK (over 753,168 new startups between March 2021 and March 2022) has further fuelled this demand.

The Role of Virtual Assistants

When discussing outsourcing, it’s crucial to highlight the role of virtual assistants. Such professionals now frequently manage tasks ranging from diary coordination to more niche areas requiring specialized skills. The needs of businesses, especially those in the scale-up phase, are dynamic. Outsourcing, in this context, provides them with the flexibility and high-quality support essential for sustainable growth.

Six Solid Reasons to Outsource in 2023

Founder of SpareMyTime, Melissa Gauge, eloquently sums up the appeal of outsourcing:

  1. Lower Risk: Streamlined recruitment ensures the right blend of personality and skills.
  2. Cost Efficiency: Outsourcing bypasses the expensive and often inefficient traditional recruitment process.
  3. Flexibility: As business needs evolve, outsourcing can adapt seamlessly.
  4. Consistency: Outsourcing offers a stable foundation for sustainable growth.
  5. Best Practices: Gain insights from those well-versed in diverse business scenarios.
  6. Enhanced Capacity: Free up internal resources by entrusting crucial tasks to external experts.
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Final Thoughts

The landscape of UK business operations is undergoing a transformative shift. As the realms of possibility expand, companies are leveraging the power of outsourcing to navigate the complexities of the modern world. With benefits ranging from cost efficiency to enhanced flexibility, it’s clear that this trend is not just a passing phase, but rather a strategic move towards a more efficient, adaptable, and prosperous future.

For a comprehensive analysis on global outsourcing trends, more insights are available at

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