Focus on your Core, Outsource the Rest: Navigating the Future of Competitive Business by Tikomporn Kuanpoonpol

In the rapidly evolving landscape of business, the integration of artificial intelligence into core processes is not just a trend but a critical strategy for staying competitive. This approach is reshaping the traditional business model, presenting both opportunities and risks. 

As companies become more agile, innovative, and cost-effective through AI, those failing to adapt risk obsolescence. Conversely, embracing these changes not only fosters new business models but also liberates CEOs and their teams to focus on what they do best – delivering exceptional services. 

The mantra for modern success has therefore been clear for some time: Focus on core competencies, and outsource non-core functions.

The Evolution of Business in the AI Era

The advent of AI and automation technologies has ushered in a new era for businesses. As we explored in the previous chapter, companies that successfully integrate AI into their operations gain a significant edge in agility, innovation, and cost-effectiveness. This technological integration enables businesses to streamline operations, reduce redundancies, and focus resources on core business functions that drive growth and customer satisfaction.

However, the rapid pace of technological change presents a dual challenge. On one side, the failure to adapt and integrate AI can lead to a gradual decline relative to competitors, as rival companies harness these technologies to operate more efficiently and offer superior customer experiences. On the other side, embracing AI and automation opens up unprecedented opportunities for business transformation, leading to more innovative, efficient, and customer-centric business models.

The key to navigating this new landscape lies in a two-pronged approach: focusing on core business functions and outsourcing non-essential tasks. By leveraging AI and technology in core areas, businesses can enhance their service delivery and operational efficiency. Alternatively, outsourcing tasks like accounting, recruitment, and marketing to specialised agencies or freelancers can also optimise resource utilisation and streamline operations.

Benefits of Outsourcing Non-Core Functions

Cost Efficiency: Outsourcing can significantly reduce operational costs. Businesses save on expenses related to hiring, training, benefits, and office space. By paying only for the services needed, companies can manage their budgets more effectively.

Specialised Expertise: Outsourcing lets companies access a pool of fully resourced professionals who possess the latest skills and knowledge in their respective fields. This approach ensures that tasks such as digital marketing, financial management, and recruitment are handled by experts, leading to higher quality outcomes with minimal need for supervision.

Emphasis on Core Business Activities: By outsourcing non-core functions, CEOs and their teams can concentrate on their primary business objectives and strategies. This focus lets them more effectively develop innovative products and services, enhance customer relationships, and explore new market opportunities.

Scalability and Flexibility: Outsourcing provides the flexibility to scale operations up or down based on business needs, without the complexities of hiring or laying off employees. This agility is crucial in adapting to market changes and customer demands.

Risk Mitigation: Outsourcing firms often have better knowledge of compliance and regulatory requirements in their areas of expertise, reducing the risk of non-compliance for the business. Additionally, outsourcing firms are equipped to handle operational risks associated with their tasks.

Improved Service Quality and Efficiency: External firms bring fresh perspectives and innovative approaches, which can lead to better outcomes. Their specialisation ensures that tasks are performed efficiently and effectively, often employing the latest technologies and methodologies.

Enhanced Market Performance: By focusing on core competencies and outsourcing other functions, businesses can improve their overall competitiveness. They can deliver superior products and services, respond quickly to market changes, and maintain a lean, agile operation.

Reduced Management Overhead: Overseeing a large workforce can be time-consuming and complex. Outsourcing reduces the burden of management and administration, allowing business leaders to focus on strategic decision-making and growth.


The integration of AI and strategic outsourcing represents a paradigm shift in how businesses operate in the 21st century. This approach lets companies focus on their core competencies while leveraging both external and software-based expertise for all other functions. Companies applying this strategy can optimise their resource use, reduce costs, and increase their agility and responsiveness to market changes and customer needs.

The future of business demands adaptability, innovation, differentiation, and a keen focus on core strengths, with outsourcing playing a pivotal role in this transformative journey. The degree to which growing businesses adopt this dual strategy will in large part determine whether they survive and thrive in the competitive landscape of tomorrow.

At Grant Thornton, we offer a wide range of business process outsourcing services, including Technology and Robotics, Technical Accounting Solutions, Accounting Services, Staff Augmentation, and Payroll Services. 

About the Author: 

Tikomporn Kuanpoonpol is the Director of Tax & Legal at Grant Thornton, where she applies her extensive expertise to guide businesses through the complexities of modern competitive landscapes. With a focus on integrating artificial intelligence and strategic outsourcing, Tikomporn helps companies optimise their operations and focus on core competencies. Her strategic insights enable businesses to navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by technological advancements, ensuring they remain agile, innovative, and cost-effective. In her role, Tikomporn is committed to delivering tailored solutions that enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and drive growth, positioning businesses for success in today's dynamic market environment.


This article is part of an ongoing series entitled The Essential Guide to Business Transformation in 2024

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