The rise of cloud computing is opening up new avenues in outsourcing, according to a survey released by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals.

Based on responses from its more than 110,000 members, the organization says companies are being driven to the cloud based on their need for increased speed and flexibility. However, that means outsourcing providers must also adapt their business and services to cloud-based models.

“Cloud-based outsourcing is emerging as one of the biggest challenges underway in the outsourcing delivery model,” said Michael Corbett, chairman of the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP), in a statement.

The organization, which held its annual summit this week in Indian Wells, Calif., conducted the survey in partnership with Accenture. It found that two-thirds of current outsourcing customers have or will implement cloud, or Internet-based computing solutions. Respondents said they are most likely to use cloud-based outsourcing offerings to manage customer relationships, human resources, finances, and to process transactions.

The survey also found that outsourcing has expanded significantly as a management practice and as an industry over the past year and that growth is poised to continue. Eighty percent of customers surveyed said their organizations plan to pursue more outsourcing opportunities in 2011.

Customers are looking to outsourcing providers to bring expertise, analytics and innovation to the table, said Mike Salvino, a group chief executive at Accenture. In turn, they are hoping to gain better business insights.



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