In its report, European Business Process Outsourcing Forecast and Analysis 2001-2006, IDC predicts that the UK market will nearly double, from $40bn (£26.6bn) in 2001 to $75bn in 2006, outstripping Europe, which will grow from $132.5bn in 2001 to $231bn in 2006 - compound annual growth of 11.8%. "The UK's position on BPOs makes it more agile," said Jamie Snowdon, director of IDC's European services research, who likened the current market to a wave spreading across Europe, with the UK at the forefront.
It owes its position to the fact that it is more used to outsourcing than other European countries. "Our business practices are closer to the US than Europe, and the US has been doing BPOs for a lot longer than we have over here," said Snowdon.
But he warned that the onset of more technology-driven deals to outsource business processes, where instead of a function being outsourced staff are replaced by IT, could carry a "significant" business risk.