No.2296
12/24/2019

BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) Market in Japan: Key Research Findings 2019

Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) has conducted a survey on the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) market in Japan, and found out the trend by service fields, the trend in market players, and the future outlook.


Forecast on Size Transition of BPO Market in Japan
Forecast on Size Transition of BPO Market in Japan

Market Overview

The BPO market in Japan is classified broadly into two categories; IT-based BPO and non-IT BPO. In FY2018, the market size of the IT-based BPO and non-IT BPO were 2,476,200 million yen, up 3.9% from the previous fiscal year, and 1,734,870 million yen, up 1.9% from the previous year, respectively (based on the sales at businesses).

Expansion in the IT-based BPO market was triggered by the growing use of data center as a service provided by the cloud service vendor, the service which had become widely available, and increase in the number of client companies using data center to manage multiplying data. Besides, as necessity for the ‘Business Continuity Plan’ (BCP) in times of natural disaster etc. is re-acknowledged, the client companies place importance on robust data center services.

Non-IT BPO market is also expanding as demand grows for the BPO service: In addition to the recent labor shortage and human resource shortage issues, promotion of the work-style innovation has led the client companies to consider subcontracting the non-core activities for the purpose of improving productivity and work efficiency of their employees.

Growing demand for outsourcing among public offices in addition to the demand among private companies is also giving advantage to the market. Moreover, market expansion has been leveraged by the amendment in the Labor Contract Act and the Worker Dispatching Act, which has motivated the companies to shift from the use of personnel dispatching service (using dispatched personnel) to BPO. Furthermore, some BPO providers are using digital technologies like RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) for improving efficiency, accelerating processes, and saving labor. Increase in the sales per client may be expected as a broader range of outsourcing operations is enabled by adopting these technologies.

Noteworthy Topics

Human Resources BPO Market

The market size of BPO for Human Resources attained 82,840 million yen in FY2018 (based on the sales at businesses), up 1.9% from the previous fiscal year.


As the subcontracting of the non-core business operation is driven by the promotion of the work-style innovation, the number of companies considering the outsourcing of human resources operation is increasing. In addition, because of the revision in the Labor Contract Act and the Worker Dispatching Act, the client companies are shifting from the use of personnel dispatching service to BPO. Demand for outsourcing the human resources operation is on the rise. 


Meanwhile, since there are still strong resistance to outsource the human resources operations, delegating the operation to outsourcers will be partial or gradual. Growth of the human resources outsourcing is projected to be slow, reaching 90,600 million yen by FY2023.

Future Outlook

By FY2023, the size of IT-based BPO market and non-IT BPO market are both projected to expand, reaching 2,807,680 million yen and 1,873,060 million yen, respectively (based on the sales at businesses).


IT-based BPO market is forecasted to continue expanding, owing to the development of a data center as a service by the cloud service vendors, which has become widely available. The number of client companies using data center to handle the multiplied data in the company is on the rise.


With the background of manpower shortage, promotion of the work-style innovation, and demand to shift from the personnel dispatching services to outsourcing, the needs for BPO services will further expand and therefore the market is expected to show stable growth.

Research Outline

1.Research Period: May to October 2019
2.Research Object: IT vendors, printing companies, call center service providers, back-office and other service providers, etc., providing BPO services.
3.Research Methogology: Face-to-face interviews by the expert researchers, surveys via telephone and email, and literature research.

BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) Market in Japan

The BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) in this research refers to the subcontracted service by the third-party vendors for operations usually done in-house, such as: system operations, call center operations (customer contact center, helpdesk, fulfillment), indirect business operations (human resources, welfare, general affairs, finance), and direct business operations (procurement, sales, non-core activities in core division, industry-specific activities). However, the specialized business services that have already been outsourced in general, such as taxation, logistics, information system development, and building management, are excluded.


Of the BPO services, IT-based BPO service applies to the subcontracted service on the system operation management, and Non-IT BPO refers to the subcontracted services for other operations.

<Products and Services in the Market>

Customer contact center, helpdesk, fulfillment, and agency services for; human resources, welfare, general affairs, finance, procurement, sales, non-core activities in core division, industry-specific activities, etc.

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