Emerging trends in sourcing of business services

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to examine key emerging trends in sourcing of business services. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper is primarily theoretical and observational. It is based on the author's review of major academic and managerial publications, extensive interactions with industry leaders and prior experience in the industry. Findings ‐ Scale and scope of sourcing of business services from across firm and national boundaries is increasing. Offshore is increasingly being leveraged for higher value activities. As business services get more industrialized, activities are being split into smaller units for servicing, and a services supply chain is beginning to emerge. With sourcing becoming more strategic, risk management has become more complex and critical. Research limitations/implications ‐ This paper provides an overview of significant emerging trends in sourcing of business services. Further complementary research ‐ theoretical, survey or case-study based ‐ on each of these identified trends will help develop a more exhaustive understanding. Practical implications ‐ This paper provides business executives with a framework to view emerging changes in sourcing of business services, and to better prepare for future opportunities and challenges. Originality/value ‐ This paper takes a holistic view at sourcing of business services and identifies some key emerging trends. The review of academic, managerial and popular press publications, and insights gathered from the field have been summarized into this succinct overview. This perspective should guide further focused academic research as well as practical application in business projects.

Keywords: Globalization; Offshore investments; Outsourcing; Service industries; Services

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/14637150910949425

Publication date: April 17, 2009

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