Business Process Outsourcing

Definition of Business Process Outsourcing

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the practice of contracting non-core business functions to an external service provider. By doing so, companies can focus on their core competencies and reduce operational costs. BPO services often include tasks such as payroll management, customer service, and data processing.


The phonetic transcription of the keyword ‘Business Process Outsourcing’ is:/ˈbɪznɪs ˈprəʊsɛs ˌaʊtˈsɔːrsɪŋ/

Key Takeaways

  1. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) allows companies to delegate non-core tasks to external service providers, enabling them to focus on their primary business functions.
  2. BPO can lead to cost savings, increased efficiency, and access to specialized expertise and advanced technology that may not be available in-house.
  3. Choosing the right BPO partner is crucial for long-term success, as the relationship requires effective communication, clear expectations, and a strong working relationship.

Importance of Business Process Outsourcing

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is a significant technology concept as it enables companies to streamline their operations and focus on their core competencies by delegating non-critical tasks to external service providers.

This strategic move not only allows organizations to achieve enhanced efficiency but also helps them cut costs without sacrificing quality.

BPO fosters innovation, leverages the expertise of qualified professionals, and ensures operational adaptability, catering to the changing business climate.

Consequently, by embracing BPO, companies can not only attain a competitive edge in their respective industries but also devote more resources to essential business functions, driving overall growth and success.


Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) serves a strategic purpose in the ever-evolving landscape of modern businesses. The primary objective of BPO is to enable organizations to concentrate on their core competencies while reaping the benefits of cost-savings and efficiency improvements.

By entrusting specific business processes to third-party service providers, organizations can shift their attention to core activities, such as product development, customer relationship management and business strategy, thus elevating their competitive advantage in the market. BPO not only provides the opportunity to benefit from the expertise of dedicated service providers but also gives businesses access to the latest technological advancements, which can streamline work processes and eliminate inefficiencies.

BPO can encompass a wide range of services, from accounting and human resources to customer support and information technology. With the increasing reliance on digital platforms, even non-traditional business processes like digital marketing and content creation are being outsourced.

By availing of BPO services, companies can allocate their limited resources in a more targeted manner, fostering scalability and agility. As businesses continue to adapt to ever-changing market demands and a globally connected environment, the adoption of Business Process Outsourcing remains a valuable strategy for nurturing growth, optimizing resource allocation and ultimately enhancing the overall performance of an organization.

Examples of Business Process Outsourcing

Telecommunications Industry: Many large telecommunications companies, such as AT&T and Verizon, have opted to outsource their customer service operations to call centers in countries like India and the Philippines. These countries usually have a lower labor cost compared to that in the United States, allowing the companies to cut down on expenses while still providing quality customer support.

Banking and Financial Institutions: One of the early adopters of business process outsourcing, the banking and financial industry outsources various operations, including data processing, loan management, and fraud detection. For example, JPMorgan Chase & Co. outsourced its back-office operations to Accenture, a leading BPO services provider, in order to improve their operational efficiency and focus on their core banking services.

Healthcare Industry: The healthcare industry has also embraced BPO, particularly for medical billing, insurance claim processing, patient data management, and regulatory compliance. For instance, a leading healthcare provider in the United States, UnitedHealth Group, outsourced its back-office functions, such as claim processing and accounting services, to Genpact, an India-based business process services company. This move has allowed UnitedHealth Group to improve their service delivery and ensure compliance with changing healthcare regulations.

Business Process Outsourcing FAQ

1. What is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)?

Business Process Outsourcing, or BPO, refers to the practice of contracting out certain non-core business tasks or processes to a third-party service provider. This is done to save costs, increase efficiency, and let the company focus on its core competencies.

2. What are the different types of BPO?

There are three main types of BPO:
1. Offshore outsourcing – Services are outsourced to a provider in a different country.
2. Nearshore outsourcing – Services are outsourced to a nearby country.
3. Onshore outsourcing – Services are outsourced within the same country.

3. What are the main benefits of BPO?

The main benefits of BPO include cost savings, increased efficiency, scalability, access to skilled resources, and the ability to focus on core business functions.

4. What are some common BPO services?

Common BPO services include customer support, telemarketing, data entry, accounting and finance, human resources, IT services, and supply chain management.

5. What are the potential risks associated with BPO?

Potential risks include loss of managerial control, security and confidentiality concerns, hidden costs, and potential negative impacts on employee morale.

6. How can companies minimize the risks associated with BPO?

Companies can minimize risks by carefully selecting a reliable BPO partner, conducting thorough due diligence, clearly defining service level agreements (SLAs), and maintaining effective communication with the outsourcing provider.

Related Technology Terms

  • Call Center Services
  • Offshore Outsourcing
  • Back Office Operations
  • Knowledge Process Outsourcing
  • Service Level Agreements

Sources for More Information


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