Issue 9 2023

Issue 9 2023

Welcome to the September issue of Corporate Vision magazine. A monthly publication dedicated to delivering the latest insight and news from across the corporate landscape. In this issue, we delve into the increasing importance of technology in the corporate world. Whether it’s access to technology as an individual to keep up with and succeed in the modern world of work; organisations making the employee payday experience as efficient as possible; protecting the digital assets of a business or individual from cybercrime; gaining the financing help needed to thrive as a business; or ensuring business as usual during a pandemic. We also explore how Gen Z are becoming more drawn towards side hustles as a way to earn an income as opposed to getting a Saturday job. Becoming increasingly tech-savvy, these individuals are utilising tools such as Chat GPT to help set up and grow their own businesses – and it is proving to be a great way to make some extra cash. We take a look at GoDaddy’s interesting research into the matter. As always, we share thought-provoking insights with you to inspire you in your own corporate world. I hope you enjoy perusing this issue and look forward to welcoming you back again soon for our October issue. Rebecca Scotland, Editor Website: Editorial Team Sofi Bajor, Senior Editor | Rebecca Scotland, Editor | Isabella Mifsud, Writer | Matthew Wright, Writer | Emily Godbol, Writer | Michelle Strozykowski, Writer Design Team Lauren Baldwin, Graphic Designer | Ali Mohammed, Junior Graphic Designer AI Global Media, Ltd. (AI) takes reasonable measures to ensure the quality of the information on this web site. However, AI will not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness or completeness of any information that is available through this web site. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. The information available through the website and our partner publications is for your general information and use and is not intended to address any particular finance or investment requirements. In particular, the information does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by us or any of our partner publications and is not intended to be relied upon by users in making or refraining from making any investment or financial decisions. Appropriate independent advice should be obtained before making any such decision. Any arrangement made between you and any third party named in the site is at your sole risk and responsibility.

Issue 9 2023 3 Contents 4. News 6. CloudPay: Automated and Efficient Payment Technology 7. Acalvio Technologies: The Biggest Threat to Cyber Threats 8. 101 new businesses were created every hour across the UK in first half of 2023 10. Business Credit Gap Grows, But Tech Can Help Businesses Get the Financing They Need 12. DEATH OF THE SATURDAY JOB? GEN Z TURNS TO SIDEHUSTLES TO MAKE EXTRA CASH 13. Personio opens New York office as hub for top tech talent 14. New Research Finds 48% of UK companies outsource work in 2023, with an increase of 41% since the pandemic

4 Professional body for IT signs new agreement to fight digital poverty The professional body for information technology has pledged closer ties with the Digital Poverty Alliance (DPA). BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, and the DPA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the joint aim of ending digital poverty in the UK by 2030. BCS President Gillian Arnold said: “Technology professionals know it’s vital for everyone to have access to the digital skills they need to function fully in our society. “Most aspects of our lives, from jobs to accessing benefits to shopping, are now conducted online. Those who can’t upskill in technology risk becoming excluded from society. “The DPA and BCS share the same vision to end digital poverty, and it’s great that we will be working closer together on this issue.” Interim CEO of the DPA Elizabeth Anderson said: “We are excited to partner with BCS, two charities working together in order to combine our expertise and enhance each other’s calls on government, industry and community efforts to advance digital inclusion. “We share a common goal of ending digital poverty by 2030 and this partnership will support the actions outlined in our recently launched National Delivery Plan. “Around 11 million people in the UK are still digitally excluded and this affects their ability to gain a good quality education, to succeed in the work place and to access necessary services, such as online banking. “We live in an increasingly digital world so digital access has never been more important and we hope that our work with the BCS will help those who need it most, while drawing attention to this vital issue. We urge businesses, government and public organisations to come together and support the work we are doing, helping to end digital poverty for good.” The ending of digital poverty is central to the BCS’ remit, and the professional body delivers a wide range of activities around education and public benefit. This includes digital apprenticeship’s end-point assessments, supporting school teachers through the Computing at School and Barefoot Computing programmes, and bringing together companies, educators and not-for-profit organisations through its Digital Skills Network to discuss how to bridge the skills gap. There’s also a Digital Divide specialist group for BCS member which campaigns for everyone to have access to skills, technology and infrastructure. The DPA recently announced its strategy to end digital poverty in the United Kingdom by 2030. Key actions include calling on the UK Government to create a new digital inclusion strategy for public, private and third sectors to help raise awareness about digital poverty and for urgent action to boost essential digital skills across society. Digital Poverty affects millions across the UK, with around 1.7 million households (6 per cent) without home internet access and approximately 10 million adults (20 per cent) lacking foundational essential digital skills and the DPA’s schemes, such as Tech4Families and Tech4Teachers, helps to support the millions of individuals that are digitally excluded.

Issue 9 2023 5 News Risky business: nearly half of the UK’s corporate giants fail to recognise the risk of reputational damage Despite mounting reputational risk, analysis of FTSE boards and executive leadership teams finds the UK’s biggest companies lack dedicated communications expertise Almost half of FTSE 100 boards and executive leadership teams (ELTs) lack a director of comms, director of corporate affairs or similar dedicated position according to new research published today by the CIPR, the world’s only Royally Chartered body for PR professionals. The findings have been published one year on from the CIPR’s first analysis of the FTSE 100, which found a near identical lack of dedicated communications support. A worrying lack of progress has been made despite surging inflation arguably making communication with customers, employees and suppliers more important than ever. The research found: • Only three FTSE 100 companies have a dedicated communications expert on their Board of Directors; • just 56 companies have a communications figure on their ELTs or management committees; • This represents a mere 8% increase on 2022 where 52 companies had communications figures on ELTs or management committees The lack of dedicated communications expertise is made even more stark by a comparison with HR, with 84 of the FTSE 100 having a dedicated figure on their ELTs or management committees. The data suggests that while HR expertise remains a key concern, corporate reputation management is still not considered a board level issue by leading global companies. By sector, the analysis highlights a concerning picture: just 39% of industrial goods and services firms have a dedicated communications professional on their ELT’s, despite the economic backdrop. Retail, real estate and leisure don’t perform much better, with fewer than half of companies featuring communications figures on their leadership teams despite the acute problems facing the high street and continued inflationary pressures. Alastair McCapra, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, commented: “We said last year that some of the biggest companies were playing reputational roulette, so it is disappointing to see such little progress. The FTSE 100 are some of the most heavily scrutinised companies on Earth, so it is vital that communications is seen as a boardroom or executive leadership team issue, starting by literally having an expert in the room. A poor communication strategy can have a material effect on a business’ bottom line, so it cannot afford to fall down the pecking order. “Inflation will be squeezing margins, meaning business to business communication is more important than ever. What’s more, consumers will be paying greater attention to the announcements and activities of companies. Combined with rolling, twenty-four hour news the risk of reputational damage is significant. “HR is rightly seen as being mission critical and it’s time that PR is, too.”

When recruiting new team members, the company is steadfast in its resolution to look beyond technical skills and talent, essential as they might be. It feels that it’s equally as important to seek out candidates who resonate with the company’s core values of innovation, teamwork, empowerment, and professionalism. In addition to this, it feels as though it’s crucial staff get on board with the company’s cultural identity, show adaptability, and are willing to embrace change. Once part of the team, CloudPay strongly commits to nurturing the development and growth of each team member, which it knows is a vital factor in business success. The internal culture at CloudPay is firmly rooted in a people-first philosophy, and an open-door policy that fosters a non-blame position. Instead, mistakes are looked at as an opportunity to learn. It believes in being open and transparent, actively fostering collaboration, and encouraging a positive outlook in interactions with peers. It recognises that the linchpin of success is its people. With 88% of Cloudees stating that their manager supports/ encourages development, and 83% recommending it as an excellent place to work, the nurturing atmosphere is clearly making a big difference to employees, and encouraging them to bring their best selves to the fore. This is a dedication perfectly in alignment with CloudPay’s ambition to effectively deliver the best modern pay experience, and is certainly evident in the passion and dedication of its whole workforce. Company: CloudPay Web Address: Contact Name: Claire Watson Aug23258 Automated and Efficient Payment Technology CloudPay has a single purpose, which is to modernise the payday experience for businesses and staff worldwide. It offers an integrated portfolio of payroll, funding, and pay-ondemand solutions using a cloud-based platform. As the recently announced winner of Best International Payroll Solutions Company 2023, we decided to find out more about its business. Why should you be interested in CloudPay? Well, with over 1,500 companies already using it for their employee pay needs, and a team obsessed with improving global payroll, treasury services, and ondemand pay, it offers a visionary service you can’t afford to ignore. CloudPay raises the importance of pay processes beyond that of an operational function to that of a true business advantage. It’s trusted to manage the pay processes of over 250 global organisations, processing over 2.5 million payslips a year across 130 countries. It handles over $24bn payments in 160 currencies, so it fully understands the challenges faced by payroll teams. It is also vehemently committed to improving them. With its integrated portfolio, delivered through a single cloud-based platform, it can be deployed anywhere in the world. Furthermore, by unifying payroll, treasury, and HCM functions, and leveraging innovative technology, it can transform pay processes to make them fast and seamless. Using CloudPay offers the certainty of end-to-end compliance, an ‘always-on’ global data analytics service, and error-free automated operations. This means that regardless of how complex an organisation might be, payroll is something that can always be relied on. The company serves a diverse range of businesses across all sectors, each one with unique global employee pay needs. The integrated services offered by CloudPay can streamline operations, and ensure precision. The expert team, headed up by CEO Roland Folz, are dedicated to implementing best practices, and navigating complex change. By optimising operations, it hopes, ultimately, to enhance employee experiences overall. It is always there, every step of the way, because employee pay is not just a part of what it does, it’s the very heart of its mission. That’s why it’s the trusted partner for so many companies’ global employee pay needs. In the realms of global pay, its pursuit of perfection is relentless, making it the absolute standout choice in the industry. “CloudPay remains focused on ensuring that people are paid on time, every time – no matter where they are in the world. Delivering a modern pay experience to our customers is key and we will continue to further invest in our technology and product roadmap to benefit our customers…” CloudPay operates with a focus on three key pillars, which combine to create successful pathways. These are employee experience, payroll effectiveness and business integration. The company firmly believes its people, whom it calls ‘Cloudees’, are what intrinsically ties the business together as its driving force. Its workforce played a pivotal role in CloudPay’s recent growth, and strong customer retention. The strong relationships they forge with clients is as integral to the company’s success as the high calibre products and services it offers. Roland Folz- CEO

Issue 9 2023 7 -- The further we step into the age of technology, the closer the threat of cyber-attacks draws. With so much of our information translating into a digital format across a multitude of platforms, it’s all too easy for those with malicious intent to try and access said sensitive details. Thankfully, Acalvio, the leader in cyber deception technology, is on-hand to assist enterprises in actively defending themselves against advanced security threats. We venture into how its adept nature led to it earning itself the title of Most Innovative Cyber Deception Technology Firm 2023. Innovation is the cornerstone of the technology sphere. As a result of such a constant flow of excellence, it takes a truly inspired collection of individuals to forge something that’s able to make a worldwide difference. Acalvio, however, has successfully founded the most effective and innovative ways to deliver comprehensive cyber security defence to a variety of enterprises. It has long since recognised the need to leverage all of the latest, most effective technologies in order to uncover a cohesive solution to the growing threat of cyber-attacks, and has utilised its arsenal of excellence to herald fantastic results. As a result of its tireless efforts, Acalvio Active Defence Platform came to be. Built on 25 issues patents in autonomous deception and advanced AI, this innovative platform specialises in providing enterprises with robust solutions for a multitude of potential threats. From Identity Threat Detection and Response and Advanced Threat Detection for IT and OT Networks, to Zero Trust, Active Directory Protection and Ransomware Protection, the platform has already garnered a stellar reputation among Fortune 500 enterprises and government agencies alike. Though it already has an innovative solution to the threat of cyberattacks, Acalvio is still looking to the future. In the world of technology, taking a break is almost unheard of, and Acalvio is already placing itself far ahead of the game in order to keep its clients secure and protected. One example is the recent announcement of its partnership with CrowdStrike, wherein it aims to automate CrowdStrike’s honeytokens capabilities to further help customers effectively and securely lure threats away from critical resources through the use of deception technologies. In addition, Acalvio is one of the only companies that’s actively making use of the potential of AI and Cloud-based capabilities to craft wholly unique solutions. What truly makes Acalvio such an innovative collective is, by far, its determination to combine deception technology with AI to concoct a means for enterprises to utilise Active Defence when approaching cybersecurity. Most security solutions tend to be passive, often deriving results from observative analytics. This is where Acalvio differs – it understands how crucial an active approach is, and has crafted the most intuitive, accessible, and effective defence mechanism for enterprises across the globe. Its ability to predict the pathways of attackers is simply invaluable to any business, making Acalvio a true asset in every sense. Thanks to its proactive approach towards cybersecurity, Acalvio has come to be known as the industry leader for Cyber Deception. With over 26 issues patents in their field, and the ability to tackle incredibly serious and demanding cases, including identity protection, ransomware protection, critical asset, application, and data protection, and insider threats, it stands apart as a foundational layer for a Zero Trust Architecture. Its prowess lies in its ability to deliver the solutions that most enterprises have been looking for, presenting it as an entity that’s bound to continue to use its innovation for the betterment of the industry. We’re excited to present Acalvio with the title of Most Innovative Cyber Deception Technology Firm 2023. In an industry where innovation is seen time and time again, it’s managed to exceed expectations and form a new standard of brilliance. And, with such a capable group of individuals tirelessly working to cultivate the cyber threat solutions of the future, we’re certain that Acalvio will continue to wow the sector for years to come. Contact: Anand Akela Company: Acalvio Technologies Web Address: The Biggest Threat to Cyber Threats

101 new businesses were created every hour across the UK in first half of 2023 • Analysis of Companies House data reveals that more than 436,000 businesses were registered in the UK between January and June 2023, an increase of 8% from 2022. • SME lender iwoca’s Business Hotspots 2023 list shows that London saw the highest business creation rate per capita across the regions with 1,768 new businesses per 100,000, followed by the North West creating 612. • Scotland came at the bottom of the list for the second year running, with just 365 businesses created per 100,000, with the North East in second to last place with 376. • The increase in business creation signals entrepreneurialism is making a comeback, with self-employment rates on the rise. Despite a challenging economic environment, 101 new businesses were created every hour across the UK in the first half of 2023, according to research by iwoca - one of Europe’s largest small business lenders. Analysis of Companies House data reveals that over 436,000 businesses were registered in the UK between January and June 2023, an increase of 9% from the 402,000 set up over the same time period in 2022. London and North West top list of areas to start a business iwoca’s Business Hotspots 2023 reveals London saw the highest rate of business creation in the first half of this year with 1,768 businesses being created per 100,000 people. This was followed by the North West with 612, climbing from third to second place. By contrast, last year’s runner-up in new business creation per capita – the West Midlands – fell to third place this year, with 574 businesses set up per 100,000 residents. Scotland came bottom of the list with 365 companies set up for every 100,000 residents, with Wales in penultimate place with 371. Camden tops the list of council areas as London dominates top 10 Camden saw the highest total number of businesses per capita out of all UK local authorities, with 13,646 new companies per 100,000 residents – nearly 3,500 more than were registered in the borough the year before. The second largest number of firms per capita were registered in Hackney (6,383) followed by Islington (6,241). London’s local authorities make up all of the top 10. The analysis reveals that Somerset West and Taunton saw the largest number of new businesses per capita outside of London, with 1,201 businesses created per 100,000. West Suffolk ranked second of all local authorities outside London at 1,187 per 100,000. Self-employment makes a comeback The high rate of business creation coincides with the highest selfemployment levels since December 2020. ONS figures show the UK was home to 4.39 million self-employed individuals in Q1 2023 – an increase of 154,000 on Q1 2022. While self-employment fell steadily over 2020 and 2021, levels have seen sustained increases since 2022, suggesting entrepreneurialism is on the uptick. ONS figures report 738,000 job moves in Q1 2023 – 43% of these moves were triggered by resignations. In 2022, resignations accounted for 40% of job-to-job moves, suggesting that more workers are deciding in 2023 to quit their jobs and set up new businesses. Seema Desai, iwoca’s Chief Operating Officer said: “It is encouraging to see so many new businesses being created during the first half of this year, despite high inflation and economic uncertainty. iwoca’s Business Hotspots 2023 list shows that the spirit of entrepreneurship is strong across the whole country, with tens of thousands of businesses being created in each region. This will be vital for the country’s economic growth over the next few years, and is a huge vote of confidence in the UK as a place to do business.”

Issue 89 2023 9

Business Credit Gap Grows, But Tech Can Help Businesses Get the Financing They Need A new report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has found that the global trade finance gap has widened to the highest on record to $2.5 trillion in 2022. This gap highlights the unapproved demand for finance to facilitate international commerce. The report, titled “2023 Trade Finance Gaps, Growth, and Jobs Survey,” found that the gap is being driven by a number of macroeconomic factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, rising interest rates, and ongoing geopolitical tensions. The report also found that businesses of all sizes, including large organisations, are being affected by the trade finance gap. They cite a lack of collateral, insufficient credit history, and unfavourable market conditions as the main reasons their applications for trade finance were rejected. However, tech-enabled solutions, partnered with traditional banks and lenders, combined with deep financial services expertise are offering hope for business, explains Maurice Benisty, Chief Commercial Officer at Demica, a supply chain finance platform. “In times like these, credit gets harder for businesses to come by,” Maurice explains. “The top reason cited for rejected trade finance applications was insufficient collateral or guarantee. This is where supply chain finance can help.” Supply chain finance and specifically payables finance is a type of financing that provides companies with access to early payment for the goods or services they sell, using financial institutions to fund these confirmed payment obligations from their customers. Payables Finance has grown rapidly into an industry with estimated outstandings of more than $500B globally, growing in excess of 25% per annum. “Supply chain finance can help businesses, to get the financing they need to grow their businesses and create jobs,” adds Maurice. “Technology is enabling the solution to push deeper into the supply chain to smaller suppliers which is helping to address the global trade finance gap.” The ADB report found that the use of supply chain finance is increasing, but there is still a long way to go to close the global trade finance gap. The report called for increased collaboration between governments, banks, and technology providers to scale up the use of supply chain finance and other innovative financing solutions.

Issue 9 2023 11

One young entrepreneur who has found generating income from their own business more lucrative than a traditional Saturday job is GoDaddy customer Omar Meho, 26, owner of Music Workflow Academy – an online training centre for music production and DJ skills. Omar says: “Like other young people, in my late teens I could have gone out and got a job at a local pub or supermarket. But I think those industries are less appealing now than they’ve ever been. Not only are the wages usually unattractive, the hours involved are often at weekends or in the evenings – times when we’d rather be out living life. “Running your own business is different. I’ve invested a lot into Music Workflow Academy but it’s paid off. We now have over 100,000 students in 170 countries worldwide and we’re a multi-award winning business. Last year I earnt over £50,000 and last month I cleared over £5,000 after tax. That just wouldn’t be possible if I’d gone down the ‘traditional’ employment route.” Andrew Gradon, head of GoDaddy UK & Ireland, adds: “It has never been easier to start a side hustle, and it’s brilliant to see the emergence of Gen Z entrepreneurs who are inspired to become their own boss and break away from more traditional sources of income. “At GoDaddy, we are committed to ensuring that everyday entrepreneurs receive the tools and support they need to help get their side hustle off the ground. We have seen first-hand the success that many of our younger customers have had in starting their side hustles, as they continue to shape the future of work.” Aug23258 DEATH OF THE SATURDAY JOB? GEN Z TURNS TO SIDEHUSTLES TO MAKE EXTRA CASH • New research reveals soaring popularity of side hustles among Gen Z Brits • Three in five (58%) would prefer to run their own business than work in retail or hospitality • Over three-quarters (77%) of young Brits would sacrifice 24% of their salary on average to run a business they were passionate about • More than half (51%) of young entrepreneurs have used AI tools to set up and grow their businesses The traditional Saturday job, often the first means of earning income for millions of young Brits, is in danger of dying out as Gen Z are turning to side hustles to make extra cash. Research* conducted by GoDaddy among more than 1,000 British Gen Zs reveals that three in five (58%) said running a side hustle is more attractive than a part-time job in industries such as hospitality and retail. The driver behind this is financial rather than a desire to be their own boss: more than two thirds (69%) of Gen Zs said that financial security is the most important factor in a job as they contend with the cost-of-living crisis. GoDaddy’s research also shows that Britain’s Gen Z entrepreneurial community is growing. One in three (29%) already have their own business or side hustle, while half (50%) have plans to start one. Over three-quarters (77%) of young Brits would sacrifice 24% their salary, on average, to run a business they are passionate about. This community is showing itself to be increasingly tech-savvy. More than half (51%) have used artificial intelligence (AI) tools such as Chat GPT to help set up and grow their businesses, compared to just over a third (35%) of entrepreneurs of all ages**.

Issue 9 2023 13 Jul23511 Personio, Europe’s leading HR software company for small and midsized organizations, today announced the opening of its first office in the United States in Soho, New York. The office will serve as a home to existing US-based employees and as a key talent hub as it continues to recruit the best technology experts in the world. Hanno Renner, co-founder and CEO of Personio, said: “Our commitment to build the best HR software for European small and mid-sized organizations has resulted in consistent fast growth as a company, even amidst uncertain economic times. Our newest office location in New York will help us accelerate further on this journey by allowing us to attract US-based professionals who are excited about our mission and creating success for our customers.” Personio intends to significantly grow its US-based workforce in the coming months. Recruitment will focus on engineering and product roles to continue to create best-in-class products built from the ground up for European SMEs. Over the past few months Personio has launched a first-of-its-kind payroll solution in Germany and introduced AI-Powered Answers to its Personio Conversations product, alongside other updates that keep the company at the forefront of innovation in this space. Maria Angelidou-Smith, Chief Product and Technology Officer at Personio, said: “We are always looking for the best and brightest minds to help us to create and innovate in this space. Our new office is a fantastic location for US-based tech professionals who want to be part of the Personio story and help us to realize our market potential, but aren’t able to relocate to Europe.” Since 2015, Personio has grown to over 1,800 employees serving more than 10,000 small and medium-size customers across Europe. Personio is valued at $8.5 billion as of its last funding round in 2022, with backers including Greenoaks Capital, Northzone and Index Ventures, among others. The company has attracted technical talent from major US-based technology players in recent months. At a leadership level, this includes: Christine Awad as VP, Engineering, Sina Firouzabadi as Director, Engineering and Bodhi Mukherjee, VP Engineering and NY site lead, all of whom have extensive experience in scaling operations at Uber, Meta, Google and other global tech companies. Personio opens New York office as hub for top tech talent

New Research Finds 48% of UK companies outsource work in 2023, with an increase of 41% since the pandemic • Virtual Business Assistant firm registers a 325% rise in growth since the pandemic • 70% of B2B decision makers admitted to outsourcing some part of their business UK Virtual Business Assistant firm SpareMyTime, reveals a registered 325% rise in growth since 2020, and this year alone they report a 47% increase in revenue. September 2023: Analysing datasets from Deloitte, IBISWorld and YouGov, SpareMyTime reveals that global spending on outsourcing could hit £571 billion by the end of the year, with nearly half (48%) of UK companies now outsourcing their work. These figures show a huge acceleration since the pandemic, growing 41% since 2019. Where, according to the data, in 2020 only a third of UK businesses expected to outsource more, then and in the future. SpareMyTime finds that UK businesses allocated £500 billion to outsourcing in 2022. This trend spanned across sectors, with IT outsourcing increasing 22% from 2019. Similarly, Business Process Outsourcing is expected to see substantial investment, with a forecasted £212 billion spending in 2023, reflecting a significant 19% rise from 2019. As inflation continues to rise, SpareMyTime predicts that outsourcing will become commonplace for businesses looking to reduce costs on recruitment and other areas. Melisssa Gauge, Founder of SpareMyTime, explains that: “Inflationary pressures can prompt UK businesses to consider outsourcing as a strategic response to manage rising costs and maintain competitiveness. When inflation drives up operational expenses, businesses often face the challenge of containing costs while sustaining quality and productivity. By leveraging outsourcing, businesses can gain the flexibility to adapt to changing economic conditions without financial constraints”. Global Outsourcing Spending could reach £574 billion by the end of the year Analysing YouGov data, SpareMyTime finds that over 70% of B2B decision-makers say their company has outsourced some part of their business, with IT support (34%) being the most likely function to be performed by an outside supplier. However, the data shows that smaller firms are much more likely to hire a supplier to keep on top of their finances, with 37% of small businesses selecting this, compared to 12% of large businesses. According to IBISWorld, there are now 155,564 Business Process Outsourcing Services in the UK, growing 2.5% per year on average over the last five years (2018 - 2023). However, SpareMyTime finds that the last three years have seen the most growth, with a 7.7% increase in services since the pandemic. What is Business Process Outsourcing? Companies implement Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) practices in two primary domains: back-office and front-office operations. Back-

Issue 9 2023 15 office BPO entails a company outsourcing its fundamental business support functions, encompassing activities like accounting, payment processing, IT services, human resources, regulatory compliance, and quality assurance, to external professionals who are dedicated to ensuring the seamless operation of the business. In contrast, front-office BPO tasks predominantly encompass customer-centric services such as technical support, sales, and marketing. According to SpareMyTime, this growth can be largely attributed to a surge in startups who are most in need of Business Process support such as IT and bookkeeping. Between March 2021 and March 2022, there were 753,168 new startups founded in the UK. This is the second-highest number of startups registered in one year in the country, only topped by the 810,316 startups founded during the height of the pandemic (2020-21). The most common tasks a virtual assistant completes Virtual assistants spend one-fifth (22.62%) of their time on diary management, followed by expense support (14.86%) and inbox management (11.4%). Less common tasks include business development research (1.13%). SpareMyTime has seen an influx of clients requesting support with tasks that require more specialist skills. Melissa Gauge, Founder of SpareMyTime comments: “As businesses embark on the journey of scaling up, their needs inevitably shift, demanding increased capacity in different areas. The transition isn’t solely centred around unfamiliarity with processes; rather, it revolves around the quest for high-quality support. Attracting exceptional talent becomes a steep hill to climb during this phase and clients seek our assistance due to recruitment challenges. Our fortunate advantage lies in our ability to effortlessly draw in toptier professionals, owing to our scale and the opportunities we offer”. To see SpareMyTime’s full analysis of the global outsourcing market, visit: Melissa reveals six reasons why outsourcing is a better solution than hiring in 2023: 1. Lower Risk: The intricate process of finding the perfect fit during recruitment is undeniably complex. By entrusting the task to a specialised agency, the responsibility of securing the right blend of personality and skills becomes their focal point. Should common mismatches arise, their duty lies in promptly rectifying the situation. 2. Cost Efficiency: Recruitment often entails substantial costs – from multiple rounds of interviews to potential missteps that necessitate rehiring. Outsourcing sidesteps these expenses and inefficiencies. 3. Flexibility: The true scope of additional resources your business requires might only become apparent once they’re in place. Countless clients initially approach us with one perspective, only to witness their needs evolve over time, morphing into something entirely different. This adaptability becomes even more critical as businesses undergo transformation. What proves vital today might no longer hold significance two months down the line, especially in a rapid-scaling business. 4. Consistency: A foundation of steady growth often hinges on consistency. Achieving this becomes challenging when founders and their teams shoulder an array of responsibilities. Outsourcing allows capacity to be seamlessly scaled, freeing up focus on key areas, such as great customer service. 5. Best Practices: The elusive realm of “unknown unknowns” comes to light. Outsourcing to those immersed in multiple business landscapes allows us to glean insights into best practices, grounded in real-world experience. 6. Enhanced Capacity: Often, crucial aspects such as compliance and data processing get sidelined as founders and their teams prioritise pressing matters like sales. Outsourcing these critical components to experts who are mandated to handle them relieves a significant burden, ensuring that these essential tasks are expertly managed.

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter: