Demand for outsourcing to grow in the Netherlands

27 May 2015

IT outsourcing in the Netherlands is expected to grow over the coming years, with 49% of top IT spending organisations looking to outsource more in 2015 against only 6% of companies that expect a decrease. Key drivers are focussing more on core business, cutting costs and improving service quality, reveals a new study from Quint and Whitelane Research.

Every year Quint and Whitelane Research explore the state of the outsourcing market in a number of European countries, including the Netherlands, Italy and Spain. The 2015-edition, titled ‘IT Outsourcing Study Netherlands’, is based on more than 200 participants from the top IT spending organisations in the Netherlands, and spans across all industries. Together the respondents are responsible for a total annual contract value of more than €4 billion.

Planned outsourcing
The study finds that this year half of Dutch IT departments will seek to ‘outsource more’. The results also show that the group for which there is no change stays relatively stable, at 36% in 2015 compared to 35% in 2014. There is also a marked decrease in uncertainty about organisations’ position with respect to outsourcing, dropping 5%, with a sentiment to not outsource decreasing 2%.

plans for outsourcing over next year

Alex van den Bergh, Global Sourcing Advisory Lead at Quint, remarks: “There is a persistent rumour that outsourcing is on its way out. This has been shown to be incorrect: while some ‘insourcing’ is taking place, the majority of organisations are indicating that they will outsource more. In fact the speed of growth is accelerating: 43% last year, 49% this year.”

Driving outsourcing
Asked for what the main drivers of outsourcing are, 60% of the respondents say that this year the biggest concern is ‘focus on core businesses’, followed closely by ‘cost saving’ and ‘improvement of service quality’. Last year cost savings was the primary reason to go for outsourcing, and this year’s results reveal that cost management remains key but strategic reasons such as focus and quality have become just as important. “It is a sign the Dutch IT outsourcing market is maturing”, says Van den Bergh. “Most organisations recognise that a large part of their IT is simply not core business and can be outsourced at higher quality. Cost is important but not the only driver anymore."

reasons to outsource more

Key trends
The researchers also looked at key trends in the outsourcing landscape. One trend is that nearshore and offshore continue to grow in all but one IT category, with large gains seen in the ‘application development / maintenance / testing’ segment (33% expect an increase in near and offshore) and the ‘end-users services’ segment (21% expect an increase), while the ‘network & telecommunications’ sector remains relatively flat with 7% indicating they will do more compared to 7% who will do less.

key trends in nearshoring and offshoring

Van den Bergh reflects on the reason for increased reliance on outsourcing: “I only have one explanation: it is clearly becoming increasingly difficult to conduct internally managed IT processes cost effectively. In addition, there are whole new problem areas organisations need to deal with, think of the cloud, BYOD and Internet of Things. For these issues, organisations are seeking access to knowledge that is scarce. Furthermore, outsourcing provides companies flexibility in their IT operations, and the opportunity to quickly and temporarily scale up or down or work at lower cost.”

XaaS uptake
A further trend in the Netherlands highlighted by the report is the increasing use of XaaS, which has grown to 95% of organisation compared to 84% in 2014. Particularly SaaS now being used by 89% of organisations compared to 74% in 2014. While IaaS jumps 15% in a year to 54% and PaaS is up 13% to 41% of those surveyed.

XaaS grows to 95 percent of organisation

Appetite from Dutch organisations for public cloud based services is on the rise as well. 47% of respondents use public cloud solutions, with a further 13% looking into joining such a service. 34% are however, currently not interested in such services, while 6% do not know. The satisfaction levels for organisations using cloud based services is very high however, with 70% satisfied and 4% very satisfied. Only 5% were unsatisfied in some way, with merely 2% very unsatisfied. The remainder is somewhat satisfied with the service provided.

public cloud use and satisfaction levels

“The satisfaction regarding public cloud vendors is high. Organisations seem to accept that they need to adapt to the systems of the suppliers instead of the other way around,” says Van den Bergh.



First Consulting helps BDO to build new RPA capability with UiPath

22 March 2019

Global accounting and consulting firm BDO is working on its own digital transformation, as it looks to pioneer the use of Robotic Process Automation in its work. Business consultancy First Consulting is helping BDO with designing the RPA journey and building its internal RPA capability.

Robotic Process Automation describes a process that utilises software programmed to autonomously carry out basic tasks across applications, reducing the burden of repetitive, simple tasks on employees.  Able to be developed and deployed in a matter of weeks, RPA is highly cost-effective and can typically demonstrate returns on investment within a few months. It has been known to dramatically improve the speed and accuracy of processing, resulting in a quicker and higher quality of service to customers.

Last year, BDO explored the value of Robotic Process Automation, concluding the technology has the capacity to bolster the firm’s service offerings as well as internal operations. On the back of this analysis, the professional services firm incorporated RPA into its ICT strategy for the coming years. This has already seen the first robot delivered at BDO, which has since been taken into use by the business.

First Consulting helps BDO to build new RPA capability with UiPath

First Consulting is advising BDO on all aspects of deploying and scaling up the technology across the organisation – from capability building, governance structure and processes to architecture and IT infrastructure. The joint team of BDO and First Consulting have, meanwhile, also taken the first steps to set up an internal RPA capability.

BDO faces a key year for its operations, particularly in the UK where it has recently become the fifth largest provider of audit and advisory services in the country. As the firm looks to further grow its junior auditing market lead over the Big Four, the effective deployment of innovations such as RPA could prove key in the coming period.

With RPA on board, BDO’s ICT department aims at increasing the satisfaction of employees by removing a range of often boring (repetitive, administrative) tasks. By automating such tasks, productivity can also be increased at the professional services firm, as its staff will be freed up to spend more time performing value-adding activities. On top of this, RPA can execute tasks and processes with a lower margin of error compared to humans, enhancing BDO’s internal operations.

Working with RPA vendor UiPath, during the project at BDO, First Consulting has sought to apply its best practice RPA growth model methodology. The approach differentiates between three different growth phases, starting with RPA, structuring RPA, and scaling RPA.

Project results are delivered through an agile approach. According to the engagement partners, the following results were achieved in a period of six weeks:

  • Developed a first robot process that directly creates value for the business and contributes to the 360 degree customer view by migrating information from two systems to another system;
  • Advice and implementation plan on the technical design in relation to RPA, ICT guidelines, a security questionnaire and a basic infrastructure;
  • A roadmap for setting up an internal RPA capability, including the following components: processes & governance, change management and capability building & training;
  • Plan for setting up benefits tracking / monitoring as well as reusability of robot process components.

So far, First Consulting and BDO have enjoyed a pleasant and productive cooperation, achieving “tangible results” along the way. According to First Consulting’s team engaged by the project, the close match between the firms’ norms and values proved a key success factor. In the coming period, First Consulting and BDO are investigating opportunities to develop a digital capability in other areas of BDO’s business.

Roel van Overdam, Head of RPA at First Consulting, said of the collaboration, “Our pragmatic, no-nonsense approach has clearly paid off.”

Related: First Consulting: Is RPA implementation going in the right direction?