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Disruptive Forces and Their Impact on BPO: Part 6 - The Internet of Things: Is this a New Beginning for Industry-Specific BPO?

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In our discussion, we’ve missed out lots of fashionable disruptors like mobile and cloud and these are indeed important elements within BPO. However, let’s be more futuristic still and consider the impact of the Internet of Things. Some examples of current deployment of the Internet of Things are as follows




 Monitoring heart operation patients post-op


 Monitoring driver behavior for policy charging

 Energy & utilities

 Identifying pipeline leakages


 Home monitoring/management - the "next big  thing” for the telecoms sector

 Plant & equipment

 Predictive maintenance



So, for example, sensors are already being used to monitor U.S. heart operation patients post-op from India to detect warning signs in their pulses, while a number of insurance companies are using telematics to monitor driver behaviour in support of policy charging. Elsewhere sensors are increasingly being linked to analytics to provide predictive maintenance in support of machinery from aircraft to mining equipment, and home monitoring seems likely to be the next “big thing” for the telecoms sector. And in the manufacturing sector, there is an increasing trend to sell “everything as a service” as an alternative to selling products in their raw form.

This is a major opportunity that has the potential to massively increase the market for industry-specific or middle-office BPO way beyond its traditional more administrative role.

However, it has a number of implications for BPO vendors in that the buyers for these sensor-dependent services are often not the traditional BPO buyer, these services are often real-time in nature and have a high level of requirement for 24X7 delivery, and strong analytics capability is likely to be a pre-requisite. In addition, these services arising out of the Internet of Things potentially take the meaning of risk/reward to a whole new level, as many of them potentially have real life or death implications. Some work for the lawyers on both sides here.

Coming next: High-Velocity BPO – What the client always wanted!

Previous blogs in this series:

Part 1 The Robots are Coming - Is this the end of BPO?

Part 2 Analytics is becoming all-pervasive and increasingly predictive

Part 3 Labor arbitrage is dead - long live labor arbitrage

Part 4 Digital renews opportunities in customer management services

Part 5 Will Software Destroy the BPO Industry? Or Will BPO Abandon the Software Industry in Favor of Platform Components?

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