Business Process Outsourcing (glossary)
The transfer of internal business processes, such as customer relationship management, finance & accounting, human resources and procurement, to an external service provider. (Gewald and Rouse 2012)
Gewald, H. and A. Rouse. 2012. "Comparing Business Process and IT Outsourcing Risks--An Exploratory Study in Germany and Australasia," 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Science (HICSS), 4-7 Jan. 2012, 275-284. Available at: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6148641&isnumber=6148595.
The term business process outsourcing is often confounded with "information technology (IT) outsourcing", they are related but not synonymous. IT oriented companies and consultancies often do so. Gartner's definition is a good example: "the delegation of one or more IT-intensive business processes to an external provider that, in turn, owns, administrates and manages the selected processes based on defined and measurable performance metrics.". Any business process may be outsourced.