Demystifying the Role of Intelligent Automation in Outsourcing

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To say that great customer experience (CX) is a business imperative is stating the obvious. Poor customer experiences will affect 30% of digital business projects by the end of 2020. As customer expectations and behaviors shift and evolve, organizations are in a race to win at every interaction, which is currently a challenge. In a bid to transform businesses and focus on creating powerful customer experiences to drive satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy, organizations are increasingly leveraging advanced technologies. The march of technological innovation is helping businesses adapt to changing customer needs by offering personalized, contextual, and customer-centric experiences to capitalize on the customer revolution.

The outsourcing sector is no exception, as it faces the impact of vacillating business winds. Gartner believes that leaders that push their outsourcing partners to make customer experience a priority can ensure sustained customer loyalty. Known primarily for its huge benefits of increased efficiency and cost-effectiveness, there is a growing integration of Intelligent Automation (IA) into the operating model.

This presents several opportunities to empower the workforce and accelerate business growth – IA enables streamlined, seamless processes and, in turn, shapes meaningful customer experiences. Outsourcing service providers are relying more on technology-assisted models for optimized productivity and reduced costs. Thus, IA is here to stay as not only a foundation of CX operations but also as a key catalyst driving growth and business process efficiency. 

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A Growing Case for Automation and Outsourcing

Decision-makers have long chosen to outsource non-core processes to optimize costs, but with automation taking over mundane core business tasks, traditional outsourcers should re-think this strategy. Approximately 71% of respondents from a KPMG survey report that outsourcing providers have lagged in meeting their business transformation goals.

Historically, outsourcing has concentrated on cost savings delivered mainly through offshore resources and labor arbitrage, but outsourcing service providers who leverage technologies can now offer customers the full benefit of advanced, productivity-boosting functions, without the financial and human resources required for building these capabilities in-house. This is largely gaining ground as an ideal solution for organizations to adopt, in a bid to increase efficiencies, capabilities and reduce time and cost.

Intelligent Automation is a key factor in outsourcing decisions, as it enables standardization and increases the quality and productivity of customer solutions at a previously unimaginable speed and agility.  

Automation in Outsourcing

Outsourcing companies should not fear automation. Instead, executives should see technology as a key tool for staying competitive and growth-oriented. Over a third of business leaders, today perceive IA as a crucial tool to drive future revenue growth and 51% access IA talent through outsourcing. 

Organizations need to center efforts around addressing the impact of IA in the best possible way. While there seems to be a negative perception around IA leading to huge job losses, it is critical for organizations to instead parse hype from reality with adequate change management efforts and an optimistic outlook. They can further enhance their IA efforts by seeking talent and skillsets to support the integration of their IA initiatives. 

Change may seem threatening especially when it’s about job security, but it is up to business leaders to patiently push forward with the transition. A next-gen approach centered on automation will help employees enhance their performance and complement their skillsets. With the extra bandwidth that automation creates, human workers can focus on strategic tasks and troubleshooting. This, in turn, will enhance the service portfolio of outsourcing providers.  

IA and Outsourcing: A Combined Partnership

Organizations are constantly on the lookout for smarter forms of sourcing and diverse partnerships to build innovative solutions and gain access to talent at a reduced cost. A convergence of IA and outsourcing, where IA augments and complements human ability, is a sure-fire route to increasing profitability. Future-facing outsourcing service providers are keen to implement an approach that leverages advanced data, analytics, and innovative IA initiatives. 

While there is a lot of speculation over automation replacing the workforce and stealing jobs, these technologies, on the contrary, are more like true partners complementing their human counterparts. Disruptive outsourcing models offer cost reduction but differ from traditional outsourcers by collaborating with partners and integrating advanced technologies to offer customers far more, for less.

Read more: Retail’s Future Lies in Robotic Process Automation

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