According to IT entrepreneur and outsourcing Guru Scott Linden, about 25,000 Australian jobs were outsourced to Philippine BPO firms last year. He predicts that ultimately, 1.5 million white collar jobs will be exported offshore, of which 190,000 - 280,000 will come from Queensland over the next 10 years.
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are following the footsteps of bank and telecommunication companies which started outsourcing six years ago. Australian SMEs are outsourcing back office functions including bookkeeping, marketing, sales, graphic design, and a variety of IT functions.
Mike O'Hagan, founder of Mini Movers, runs tours of Manila outsourcing companies for Queensland business owners every three weeks. He said every tour is fully booked.
"The big corporates started offshoring years ago and so had a huge competitive advantage over smaller businesses," O'Hagan said. "Now small to medium-size enterprises have access to it. So people can go to an Australian company and get a website built for, say, $5000, or go overseas and have it done for a few hundred dollars."
Nick Sinclair, Chief Executive of Wealthfarm, hired an offshore team of eight employees which has now expanded to 34. He said the trend can help generate more jobs in Queensland.
Offshore outsourcing has enabled his firm to offer low-cost daily cash flow analysis for his clients. His Australian staff has more time to focus on clients.
While he is aware that it can lead to redundancies, "... in my firm it has freed up about 50 per cent of our capacity in Australia so we can offer a lot more value-added service to clients without added cost," he said."Our Australian office staff can now see more clients because they are not tied up with processing and that will allow us to grow our business and hire more staff."