The Ultimate List of Outsourcing Statistics for 2021

Businessman holding a foldable smartphone with OUTSOURCING inscription, successful business concept

In today’s world, outsourcing has become a way of life for many small and large firms. First recognized as a formal business strategy in 1989, the practice of outsourcing has drastically evolved and become an integral part of global business management.

Why Businesses Outsource?

Today, the term ‘outsourcing’ has acquired a strategic meaning. Smart organizations rely on outsourcing a part of their IT & business processes to gain a competitive advantage as well as expand their global footprint.

Whether it is a startup or an industry leader, the target goals are the same – cutting costs, profitable growth, focusing on core business functions, leveraging a global knowledge base, improving scalability during peak times, better customer service, and so on.

Collectively, these benefits intend a fortunate bottom line.

Sounds great!

But does that really work?

Let’s talk numbers. The latest outsourcing statistics put the proof in the pudding and offer a glimpse of what you can expect from the outsourcing market in the future.

According to Statistica, the global outsourcing market was worth 92.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. The reports show that it is estimated to reach 114 billion U.S. dollars by 2025.

We have compiled the most interesting and latest outsourcing statistics and trends.

Top Outsourcing Statistics for 2021 – Editor’s Choice

  1. Cost reduction is back on top as the main driver of outsourcing projects.

According to Deloitte’s 2020 Global Outsourcing Survey, cost-saving is, once again, the primary goal of outsourcing for businesses. In the face of a pandemic-induced global recession, around 70% of companies said the main reason they outsource was to reduce operational costs. This was followed by flexibility (40%) and Speed to market (20%).

  1. Around 24% of small businesses outsource jobs to increase efficiency.

As per Clutch’s 2019 Small Business BPO Survey, 24% of surveyed companies said that they seek to improve efficiency above all. Another common basis that small businesses choose outsourcing services is to enhance available expertise (18%), followed by increased flexibility (16%). Interestingly, only 12% of small businesses had prioritized cost reduction at the time.

  1. Accounting and IT are the two most outsourced industry sectors.

Since accounting and IT tasks require a higher level of proficiency and skills, they are the leading outsourced jobs in small businesses. The most largely outsourced tasks are accounting & finance (37%), IT services (37%), followed by digital marketing (34%), according to Clutch’s recent Small Business BPO Survey.

  1. The market size for global outsourced operations reached $92.5 billion before the pandemic.

The outsourcing industry is pretty fat but has been unsteady over the last few years. After reaching a revenue peak of $104.6 billion in 2014, the industry market dropped to 76.9 billion in 2016. However, it is headed in a decidedly upward direction after that.

  1. The United States is the leading outsourcer of work globally.

Most of the revenue from outsourcing contracts comes from the Americas. According to KPMG, the US contributed 41.5% of the total outsourcing deals closed in the first quarter of 2017.

However, the contribution of EMA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) was not very far. It contributed 35% (wherein the UK had a share of 22.07%) as compared to 27% in Q4 of 2016. Similarly, the contribution of Asia Pacific rose from 16% in Q4 of 2016 to 23% in Q1 of 2017.

  1. About 300,000 jobs are outsourced by the US each year.

As per research by Deloitte, annually 300,000 jobs are being sent overseas from the United States. Well, that’s a huge chunk! This is one reason why a significant number of people see outsourcing negatively; especially when their own country is just coming out of a big economic crisis and the full effect of the global pandemic is yet to be seen. 71% of Americans think outsourcing jobs overseas harms the US economy.

  1. Disruptive solutions such as cloud and robotic process automation (RPA) are transforming outsourcing.

Nearly 93% of the survey respondents are considering, or have already adopted, cloud services for better outsourcing. However, 68% of the outsourcing companies reported data security as their top concern while 45% still worry that a cloud-based service may not be stable or reliable enough.

According to a report by Businesswire, nearly 50% of businesses globally will increase robotic process automation (RPA) adoption by 5% owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Businesses with 50+ employees are 66% more likely to outsource than small businesses.

Currently, around 37% of small businesses outsource a business process. However, outsourcing seems to be more popular in larger firms. Large businesses with more than 50 workers (66%) are more likely to outsource their business processes as compared to businesses with 50 or fewer employees (29%), according to a Clutch survey report.

India as a Global Outsourcing Destination

According to A. T. Kearney Global Services Location Index and Tholons Top 50 Digital Nations of 2019, India remains the leading country to outsource, followed by the Philippines and the US.

India has been the preferred choice for offshoring and outsourcing, as it has evolved with changing needs.

Here’s a quick look at why India

  • 125 million English speaking people – the world’s second-largest and second only to the US
  • over 4.36 million IT employees with the outsourcing industry
  • around 1,500,000 engineering graduates are joining the IT industry every year
  • With a 12-hour time difference with the US, India has got the time zone advantage
  • The government is spending heavily on technology and infrastructure development
  • Huge difference in labor costs – US in-house developer may charge $80/hr while an Indian developer provide similar quality of work at maybe $15/hr
  • 15 Indian companies (out of 23 software companies in the world) have attained the SEI–CMM Level 5 certification

This and a lot more! Outsource to India to find a talented remote workforce that will help you grow and remain competitive in the global market. Virtual Employee is one of the top-rated outsourcing companies in India, offering a host of services to clients across 33 countries. The VE advantage goes beyond huge cost savings. When you outsource business services to VE, you look at business expansion, profitable growth, and freedom from all overheads.


This list of the latest outsourcing statistics for 2021 is proof that outsourcing has a bright future. With the continuous advancement in infrastructure and technologies, particularly in India, no organization can afford to overlook the cost cuttings and functional perks of outsourcing in order to stay competitive in the global market.


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