skip to main content
Close Icon We use cookies to improve your website experience.  To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy.  By continuing to use the website, you consent to our use of cookies.
Global Search Configuration


The captive model may have temporarily fallen out of fashion, but it is now re-emerging as a key element of many firms’ sourcing strategy. This report gives an overview of the development of captives, and looks at how they have continued to evolve, both in terms of the services being delivered and their geographic reach.


  • Having gained widespread acceptance in the late 1990s, the popularity of offshore captive centers peaked between 2003 and 2005. That popularity began to wane in 2006, and a spate of divestments in 2008 and 2009 was a clear sign that the captive model had fallen out of favor with large enterprises.
  • A resurgence of interest began in 2013, led by major multinationals such as BT and AstraZeneca. The captive model has continued to evolve, and centers are now offering more complex services. In addition, companies are increasingly operating captives in multiple locations.

Features and Benefits

  • Analyzes recent trends in the use of captive centers by enterprises.
  • Evaluates the development of the captive model, both in terms of the services being provided and the geographies being targeted.

Key questions answered

  • What is driving the recent resurgence of interest in the captive model?
  • How are enterprises fitting captives into their broader sourcing strategy?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages


  • Recommendations for enterprises
  • Recommendations for vendors

The rise and fall of the offshore captive

  • Captives gained widespread acceptance in the late 1990s
  • Spate of sell-offs was a sign of the captive’s waning appeal

After a lull, captives are returning to prominence

  • Offshore captives were seen as unfashionable by 2010
  • The captive model has continued to evolve
  • Increased complexity creates major new challenges


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

Recommended Articles

  • Internet of Things

    IoT Viewpoints 2018

    IoT Viewpoints explore the IoT opportunity in 2018 and beyond. Download our latest e-book to get our newest collection of thought leadership articles on the emerging IoT trends, technologies and opportunities.

    Topics IoT

  • Consumer & Entertainment Services

    US pay TV: Is it facing an existential threat?

    By Adam Thomas 28 Mar 2018

    With US pay TV having endured the worst year in its history, thoughts have inevitably turned to the future. The likelihood remains that the immediate future will remain highly uncomfortable for everyone except the scaled multinational digital platforms.

  • Enterprise Services

    5G: Another technology in search of enterprise use cases

    By Evan Kirchheimer 26 Apr 2018

    Service provider interest in justifying 5G investment through its potential to open new revenue streams from the enterprise segment is growing ever greater.


Have any questions? Speak to a Specialist

Europe, Middle East & Africa team - +44 (0) 207 017 7700

Asia-Pacific team - +61 (0)3 960 16700

US team - +1 646 957 8878

Email us at

You can also contact your named/allocated Client Services Executive using their direct dial.
PR enquiries - Call us at +44 788 597 5160 or email us at

Contact marketing -

Already an Ovum client? Login to the Knowledge Center now