Automation is changing the face of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) more than any other type of outsourcing, according to an article by Fabiano Rosa at CIO.com. Here are some of the reasons he offers for that transformation:
Standardization: The level of standardization of the processes and services involved in BPO make it a perfect candidate for automation.
Profitability: The adoption of automation via BPO activities is something most service providers see as appealing because it leads to higher margins on outsourcing agreements.
Stability: With continued uncertainty about the long-term future of outsourcing labor, an increased focus on automation helps reduce the risk for the service provider.
In his article, Rosa also lists some issues to consider when deciding when – or how much – to automate.
Different needs: Organizations are the ones to decide how much of their BPO services should be automated, not BPO providers. Different companies will have different needs to address, and not all service packages or service providers can address those needs.
Cultural impact: Changes in the working environment – especially those involving automation – can lead to a decrease in productivity. Companies must keep a close watch on the speed such change is implemented to minimize the impact.
Measuring success: Though automation usually results in an overall decrease in costs, companies must consider more than just the bottom line. When determining if BPO automation is worthwhile, they must determine what defines success – including quality of work, reliability, decrease of risk, etc. – and see what level of BPO automation is right for their needs.