The Future of BPO Industry in the Wake of RPA (Robotic Process Automation)

by | Published on Nov 21, 2016 | Business Process Outsourcing

Robotic Process AutomationBusinesses earnestly started using reliable outsourced solutions during the mid 1990s. Business processes are diverse, and touch upon an organization’s production, customers, suppliers and business operations. While using solutions such as data entry services enables the business to leverage the economies of scale and enjoy the cost advantages available, this trend may change with the emergence of technologies such as RPA or robotic process automation.

Robotic software agents can perform the business processes that are usually be done by human beings. This system is ideal when the processes are rule-based, frequent and repetitive. However, it may be a long time before this technology completely takes over the processes performed by humans. At present, there are a number of workers still providing data entry services for loan applications, supplier invoices, insurance claims and other routine tasks, enabling businesses to function smoothly with streamlined information. It is expected that while such kind of work will be required still, the need for people to perform these tasks will become less.

Today customers expect businesses to be technologically advanced. RPA has emerged as a new trend in the business scenario offering high value creations with significant cost savings and quicker processes. The automation of business processes is changing the business model of BPO vendors and RPA may gradually dominate the sector.

Business Processes That May Be Automated

In the future the following processes may be automated:

  • Data entry: The RPA industry will take over data entry work like medical data entry or legal data entry from BPO providers and transfer to their own bots.
  • Image recognition: This again is another process that will be automated i.e. forms data entry could be automated.

What Will Not Be Automated

  • Telemarketing: Telemarketing is a process that will not be automated as it requires a lot of customization that RPA will not be able to deliver at the current level of technology.
  • OCR (Handwritten): Handwritten forms data entry cannot be replaced with the RPA technology available now.

5 Things BPO Providers Must Do

To stay competitive, outsourced solutions providers should adopt the following techniques:

  • Concentrate on skills: Hire your workforce and train them to be skilled so that the employees can move up the value chain to more specialized positions such as data scientists, and provide higher order capabilities to customers.
  • Dig deep: Acquiring good knowledge about specific industry domains will help the customer understand that you have excellent awareness of their business and can add value in their business transformation.
  • Build up confidence: Show your clients that you can deliver on business outcomes and you are willing to assume the risk involved in such delivery.
  • Demonstrate your uniqueness: Invest in areas that will set apart your company in terms of modernization, speed, and impact.
  • Become a leader: Develop deep technology capabilities and prove that you can deliver the latest technology-led innovations on a continuous basis.

With the BPO industry in for a change, service providers may have to bring in innovative ways to deliver their outsourced solutions. However, there will remain many business processes that will need human intervention to ensure maximum efficiency and this is what providers can leverage.

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