Global Industry Overview: Data Processing Services

Data processing firms provide diverse computer-related services primarily to other businesses. Specialties within the industry include:

  • Data entry
  • Database management
  • Text or graphics digitization
  • Payroll processing
  • Credit card transaction processing
  • Medical claims billing
  • Computer time leasing
  • Off-site data management facilities

Certain firms in the industry also perform computer systems design, hardware consulting, contract maintenance, on-site management, and integration services. For discussion of these activities, see Computer Services.

Industry Snapshot

A key beneficiary of the global trend toward outsourcing non-core business functions, the data processing industry obtained double-digit sales growth in leading markets throughout much of the 1990s, and continued to grow well into the new millennium. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the computer and data processing industry was the fastest growing industry in the U.S. economy, with employment projected to increase 86 percent between 2000 and 2010. During 2000, the information technology outsourcing market, a loose measure of data processing receipts, was nearly 20 percent of all outsourcing expenditures in the United States. According to market research firm International Data Corp., total global outsourcing spending was projected to reach US$151 billion by 2010.