The reality of Robotic Process Automation is hitting us at the HfS Summit for services buyers at Harvard Square this week. We anonymously polled 53 senior outsourcing relationship leads with the question “what measures would improve the outcomes and quality of their outsourcing relationship”:
Last year’s buyer’s summit saw 48% polling they needed to let go and entrust their service provider in higher value processes… now that number is dropping to 28%, with the preferred partnering focus shifting to working jointly on an automation strategy. Nearly half of today’s buyers (45%) now see that as the main area to get renewed value.
What does this tell us?
As mature outsourcing deals get stuck in holding patterns, automation is providing the new flavor to find that next increment of value. The industry hype and marketing is clearly reaching the buyer – and many want their service providers to work with them to help figure out an automation strategy.
So the real conversation now shifts to how buyers and providers can find common commercial models to make automation work for both parties. However which way we look at this, buyers will need to make some new investments in Robotic Process Automation technology and expertise, while the service providers will ultimately have to concede they may need to reduce the FTE provision on their side, as automation takes effect.
Now, the real challenge here is for the service provider to redeploy the freed-up FTEs on their clients’ higher value processes. So these two motivations should go hand-in-hand: decreasing labor effort on automatable tasks and increasing it on the higher value work the clients would like to outsource in the future. So if buyers and their providers can get this right, automation will be a long term play for both parties, where higher value work gets done and delivery staff are kept busy because of the closer collaborative relationship and greater volume of work being parsed out.
Posted in : 2015 HfS Buyers Summit, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Digital Transformation, IT Outsourcing / IT Services, Robotic Process Automation, Sourcing Best Practises, sourcing-change, the-industry-speaks