Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) Concept And Career Prospects
How good is a career in Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO)? As companies have grown larger, diminishing returns have set in for many among them. Technologically advanced establishments have outrun the large market’s detriments to cover up their profits and growth. They have managed to do so with the help of incredibly unique products and exceptional services that are difficult to value. Now, with greater competition in technological markets and trends being standardized as industry norms, KPO has emerged in recent years for MNCs and large corporations as a solution for ensuring maximal growth. It has streamlined many processes and helped businesses focus on the essentials. We are going to look at what KPO is and what are the career prospects in Knowledge Process Outsourcing.
KPO or knowledge process outsourcing is an incredible asset for businesses all over the world today but despite hearing this term often, a working professional in the company utilizing KPO may not understand the underlying concept or its working, much less the significance of the impacts. So firstly, we will try to investigate the working of KPO thoroughly and its various types. Once KPO fundamentals are clear and predictable in their manifestation, we’ll analyze how KPO works for businesses to streamline the procedures of business operations. This is done to gain an outline of the important aspects of KPO.
Thirdly, we’ll look into the job opportunities, remuneration, and scope of sector growth that we will witness in the upcoming years and how some enticing opportunities might present themselves in various places. So, without further delay let us find some more details about KPO or…
Knowledge Process Outsourcing — Concept and Working
With the turnover of the twenty-first century, a discrete field developed that revolved around the concept of extreme specialization. Expert knowledge of a field became the deciding factor that penetrated previous patterns of growth, and this was possible by improving efficiencies in business processes and investing in research & development.
Knowledge process outsourcing is a type of outsourcing (delegating resources and work to firms that are not owned by the main company whose work they optimize or handle). This outsourcing is not limited to simple processing of data but exceeds highly sophisticated data services and other types of knowledge processing for the benefit of the business. KPO is an important core in businesses today due to its growing importance in MNCs and even smaller corporations in the twenty-first century.
Outsourcing is done for various purposes and is usually contractual. Outsourcing to another establishment may not be limited to already established and well-renowned organizations but also to organizations in different geographical landscapes and climatic conditions. Companies in the developing world are preferred to companies in the developed world because of the cheaper wage required to gain similar quality of services as education in the sciences has been potent for many among the developing people.
KPO aims to obtain weathered or fresh specialized at cheap rates. This is to ensure a low cost of production in world markets and further growth in profits as sales and demand for the product increases. Such is the case for many top technological giants like Apple and Google who use KPO to ascertain lower prices for their services than local competitors.
They also want that as market cycles turn shorter, due to increased economic activity, they are not affected negatively and can hire easily to meet supply chain deficiencies through knowledgeable and technical process outsourcing professionals. Knowledge processing requires highly-skilled and trained professionals. The requirements of these professionals in the developed world are high as they abide by union law and governmental acts and bills.
High compensation and other health, as well as social benefits, are termed necessary under these laws so whenever a maternal/paternal leave, sick leave, etc. is authorized, there is a hole left in the hierarchical chain of command or technical field of the company. To compromise with the maintenance of the revenue flows would be a fool’s move and therefore requires KPO to enter the fray to solve the issue at hand.
These positions are temporary by their nature and depend on short-term deficiencies. These can be fulfilled by knowledgeable professionals who are just as capable, if not more at times, than the staff on leave and need to not be paid more. This is the main reason why knowledge process outsourcing is necessary for some organizations, even though they qualify as small-scale firms.
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Other Important Uses of Knowledge Process Outsourcing Are Mentioned Below:
- To refer to a second entity that can help clarify financial issues or ascertain the viability of solutions
- To further research on products, and services by a firm to gauge underlying variables that may previously be unaddressed.
- To gain knowledge about useful efficiencies for faster business operations while also ensuring a steady output of services
- Gain high-quality work while keeping costs low
- There are also improvements in service quality and timely redressal of regional woes and complications. This allows for the expansion of the brand name and the building of better customer-business rapport.
Furthermore, knowledge process outsourcing is not limited to the technology sector but provides a variety of services. The outsourcing services provided under it are as follows:
- Financial Consultancy is a strong outsourcing sector in today’s market. Financial stability and security are key concerns for any business but they often take a monotonous turn when businesses grow to enormous proportions. With the prevalence of big data and online transactions, financial transactions and accounting for them are becoming more laborious. KPIs or key performance indicators retain their importance and finance is inseparable from the calculation of these indicators. Therefore, financial consultancy and accounting firms are on the rise which can help businesses diversify their business portfolios and production assets as well as help in the accounting aspect of functioning at cheap rates.
- Data Analysis is critical today where if your business is not already online, you are behind the majority of businesses today in the scope of your marketability and accessibility. Data-driven decision-making has also gained steam in recent years as an important avenue for businesses however, firms at large that cannot invest money in a dedicated data analysis department due to financial or commitment reasons, will want to gain access to important data insights by outsourcing important data values to firms with NDAs. These firms can use the data and derive helpful insights for their clients.
- Research & development of new products or financial investments and their viability for future ROIs are calculated by running algorithms and modeling. This requires time and monetary investment that might interfere with the ability of a firm to attend to daily hassles and tasks so research and development of new projects/ products may be shifted onto subsidiary firms. Furthermore, there is a precedent that research into resourceful restructuring or improved technologies can be risky to brands if it is released into the market without rigorous testing. Ultimately this may spoil the brand image of a firm, therefore outsourcing is done to minimize risk and optimize the product to improve overall stability and reliability.
- Business investments are an important source of income or stabilizing asset for firms. They are useful to diversify the funds of the corporation to prevent heavy taxation and lessen the risk of profits. They may also be useful for improving business relations. On the production front, investments are essential. Investment in the right aspects of production i.e., power generation, resources used, and resources purchased can beneficially impact the quality of the product while also removing inhibitors to potential future growth in profits.
- Other domains like medical and legal sectors are also pivotal for improving efficiencies in business fund allocation. Legal representation for firms may be local in case the firm is prone to litigation. Usually, firms do not find themselves in courts and refer to law firms with a strong hold over the region where the company wants to expand aggressively. Knowing the law of the land and basing expansion on legal loopholes will always be beneficial to businesses and will help them save money in trying to understand the law themselves. Furthermore, KPO legal services can also provide business-friendly opportunities for MNCs that may fly under the radar to a firm that isn’t well-versed in the law and the updates that businesses can benefit from. The medical sector and benefits that are necessary for a professional in developed countries are not a necessity in developing nations, saving funds that need to be allocated for the same.
- Content Writing is also an important segment under knowledge process outsourcing. Plenty of western nations outsource content writing positions and internships to foreign freelancers and small-scale institutions that solicit nominal fees in return for quality writing.
Ultimately, KPO aims to accrue a lot of benefits to the businesses that utilize the service. However, anyone who has a little experience with the business world understands the infamous adage,’ Everything comes at a price. Knowledge process outsourcing appears to be overly beneficial. However, it is not as it too is plagued with its fair share of detriments. These are enumerated as follows:
A company’s intellectual property is often shared with overseas firms that are bound by contracts but may still infringe on this property by using it for their benefit. This can lead to exploitative illegal practices by foreign companies without the ability of intellectual right authority of the nation of the owner country to have any say in the matter since the overreach has taken place outside their jurisdiction.
Often the low labor cost in these countries is not because of the lower general price level or better resource efficiency but due to poor quality of labor. Due to improper standards and questionable resource action, there is a lack of credibility in labor quality. This can be very harmful to the overall service they can render to the foreign firm.
Furthermore, adding to the last section, there exist little to no assurance checks for these contract firms. The hiring firm needs to allocate personnel to check the reliability of these firms and their workforce, failing which they can be a waste of valuable firm resources.
Since usually outsourcing is an overseas endeavor there is room for communication errors and technical interruptions caused by poor facilities or infrastructure. Different languages and cultures can lead to different understandings of the same concept, which when left unresolved can fester into major issues throughout a partnership. This problem is common internally among departments and is solved through meetings and team-building interactions. Reinforcing the ideas and objectives that the work should address combined with visualizing stimuli like presentations and cards is an important aspect of a miscommunication-free partnership.
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Business Process Outsourcing vs Knowledge Process Outsourcing — Explained
The aforementioned demerits of knowledge-based outsourcing are pertinent issues that plague the whole field. However, one popular critique that is false revolves around the misconception that the knowledge process only pertains to knowledge segments and can’t influence actual processes of everyday businesses i.e. that it doesn’t focus on one task when this does not fall under the ambit of knowledge processing. Business process outsourcing is focused on functional business tasks that are useful in running a business like marketing, call receiving, etc. However, in a world where knowledge is king and aptitude to gain from data sets by the construction of knowledge-based models is high. They use technical and analytical skills to use knowledge effectively to pin down trends for business benefit. Another difference is that customers are also accounted for under knowledge process outsourcing whereas business process outsourcing functions fine without it.
Moving on, let us finally get to the major segment of the article: The scope of knowledge-based outsourcing, and the job opportunities. We shall also cover prospects and specifically how this service has developed in the Indian context.
Scope of KPO – Job, Skills, and More…
Knowledge process outsourcing is sometimes known as the rational twin of BPO (business process outsourcing). It is a younger and relatively less mature field but with greater potential than its kin. On top of that BPO works to enhance the potential of knowledge-based outsourcing, for instance, call centers have been turned into knowledge outsourcing as well as functioning as primary BPO units as well. Knowledge outsourcing has grown tremendously in recent years, especially in the case of India. Cities such as Bangalore, Delhi, etc. are hubs for this kind of outsourcing. However, let’s first understand the qualities and qualifications for becoming a knowledge outsourcing professional. To become an outsourcing professional, you require:
- A person with a science background is preferred as opposed to others, unlike BPO. The knowledge base in mathematics and analytical research-based work is important for knowledge process outsourcing since it requires working with models and analytical sets. No specific guaranteed requirements are necessary however, analytical backgrounds score you extra points.
- Degrees like MBA, MBA (Human Resources), Doctoral degrees, Engineering degrees, Economics honors, LLB degrees, etc. are essential to be a part of the knowledge-based outsourcing market. Without any of these degrees, there is little recourse.
- There is no required examination or registration for becoming a knowledge outsourcing professional.
- It is a rather open-ended field but there is a scope of jobs in this career with people working as administrative support, application specialist, computer operator, data entry specialist, etc. so knowledge of the prospective jobs you can score is important to assign value to the actual opportunities you come across.
These are just a few things you require to become a knowledge process outsourcing professional. It’s not a difficult job to gain and thus, entry into the field is as easy as butter. However, a good professional carries both soft as well as hard skills in their repertoire. Knowing the job profile that suits your niche in knowledge process outsourcing coupled with a good skill set can take you far in this field. A good knowledge process outsourcing professional can be formed rather easily, however, without the right environment knowledge process outsourcing professional is not good for much. Most knowledge process outsourcing professionals are found near or around metropolitan cities such as Kolkata, Delhi, Mumba, etc. This is because they have become highly modernized hubs and uphold standards of work that parallel those in the developed world with relatively lower wage rates. Thus, businesses from all over the globe outsource their workload to establishments in these cities. Thus, the case for knowledge process outsourcing in India is…
Knowledge Process Outsourcing in India:
India is considered an intellectual hub of amazing talent, so it is not surprising that companies avail the services of Indian firms in hoards. Companies offering services of market research, investment research, web development services, and even software engineering services to many companies across the globe.
It has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years and has cemented its lead against other countries like the Philippines, Russia, etc. With the current timeframe, India is poised to become a reliable source of knowledge process outsourcing. Its focus on the technology sector will be diversified soon enough and the statistics support the growing trends. Approximately 70 percent of the three lakh jobs created due to knowledge process outsourcing were taken by Indians, as per studies and that is a positive sign.
Emerging trends in the industry will reflect deeply on India as well. Growth of overseas delivery centers, growth of business process outsourcing & knowledge process outsourcing combined links and mergers and acquisitions by leading technological players, etc, define some of the growing trends of the industry.
The Indian knowledge process outsourcing sector is focused on business research, management consultancy, and much more and is also en route to face a plethora of challenges with cut-throat competition and the need for skilled professionals.
However, just some of the many benefits that knowledge process outsourcing in India has rendered to the world are:
- Utilizing business resources optimally as the keenness of a new company to do the best work it can combine with the greater focus given to normal processes and operations ascertains that resources are used to near perfection, leaving little room for error.
- With the help of knowledge process outsourcing, goals can be prioritized appropriately by keeping track of the variables that control profit levels, a company can choose to focus on its niche while outsourcing the rest facilitating maximum profits for minimum labor.
- Knowledge process outsourcing in India is master crafted by high-tech global leaders in their fields and provides the best quality of services that span every corner of the globe. Companies like Wipro, and WNS are prime leaders in this category that ensure high-quality services.
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Q1. Is knowledge process outsourcing a good job option?
Yes, knowledge process outsourcing is an incredibly good job option with little to no barrier to entry, an achievable skill set, and a good salary that ranges from five to six lakhs per annum depending on the quality and experience of an employee. These are average numbers that do not give an estimation of the extremes, so the field is dynamic and volatile.
Q2. What are some skills used by knowledge process outsourcing professionals?
Some skills required to end up as a professional in the sector are as follows:
- Profound analytical and interpretative skills
- Curiosity regarding business actions, documents, and processes
- Clear financial concepts regarding investment, savings, etc.
- Ability to develop statistically sound data-driven models
- Good communication skills that help in creating collective understanding around business goals and simple steps to make objectives possible
- Strong presentation skills with a good grasp of Excel, its functions, and its integration with visualization software for effective communication.
- Ability to develop research reports by sifting through reports and statistical data
- Deeply knowledgeable of the telecom industry, legal industry, and more.
Such are the skills required for becoming a process outsourcing professional. Some individuals may think that there is an entry test to become a professional but such is not the case. A lucid idea of the industry in which one wants to work is necessary before committing to the sector.
Q3. Is knowledge process outsourcing a viable profession in India?
Even though it might not be the highest paying profession, knowledge process outsourcing professionals make a sizable chunk of their income after they have gained tenable experience through years of work.
We hope you learned something of value through this article that will assist you in your journey of becoming a knowledge process outsourcing professional. If you merely wish to gain an understanding of the field and not think about the viability of the career, we hope that you were able to gain a cursory comprehension of the same and will be able to explain it thoroughly, if it happens to come up in a casual conversation. Thank you for reading.