Demoskop: An increasingly positive attitude to outsourcing

Outsourcing of service activities is expected to increase over the next five years. That’s the opinion of large companies and public sector organisations in Sweden and Denmark according to a survey carried out by Demoskop. In Sweden, it is municipalities, county councils and government offices that are most likely to outsource more of their services in the future.

A survey was recently carried out which looked at the attitude of various enterprises towards outsourcing services to external parties. The survey involved large companies, municipalities, county councils and various authorities and government offices in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. The results show a general positive attitude throughout Scandinavia towards the idea of outsourcing services to external suppliers. Denmark produced the most positive response to outsourcing service functions to external companies.

To what extent do you think companies and organisations will outsource their internal service and other peripheral services over the next five years?

Demoskop: An increasingly positive attitude to outsourcing

Firsthand experience shows

The survey shows that the more common outsourcing of service support becomes, the more positive the attitude towards it. In Denmark, which comes out top in Scandinavia, almost nine out of ten companies and public sector organisations outsource existing services, while in Norway the figure is five out of ten. In Norway, the outsourcing of service functions to external parties is a relatively new concept. Norway registers the lowest interest in the subject and therefore benefits the least.

Cleaning most common outsourced service

In all three countries, cleaning is the service most commonly outsourced to an external provider, followed by IT support. In Sweden and Norway, companies and public sector organisations more often rely on fewer suppliers than in Denmark. Sweden is the country that sees the most benefits from using a single company as a service provider. The Danes, however, choose several suppliers and are sceptical about allowing one service provider to assume complete responsibility for service functions. 

The greatest problem experienced by companies and the public sector in managing service activities in-house is a shortage of available time for developing new ideas and solutions. The Swedes also believe that service activities can take time away from core activities.

Lower costs and emphasis on core activities

The driving force behind outsourcing is primarily cost savings, but there are also opportunities for focusing on the company’s core activities and for improving quality and service. The Danes also think that outsourcing service activities increases the likelihood of employee development. 

The results of the survey show that the outsourcing of service activities is a phenomenon that is attracting ever more large companies and public sector organisations in Scandinavia.

About the survey:

The survey was carried out by Demoskop between 23 May and 16 June 2006 in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. The target groups were large companies, authorities/government offices, municipalities and county councils. Interviews were conducted with CEOs, municipal executives, county councillors, CFOs, purchasing managers, HR managers and administration managers. All those interviewed had overall responsibility for purchasing the company’s peripheral services. In total, 389 interviews were conducted.