In a recent webinar, HfS Executive Vice President of Research Charles Sutherland asserted that 2014 will be the year that robotic automation gains prominence—particularly among business process outsourcers (BPOs). Why is robotic process automation becoming so popular? For starters, service providers need to respond to ongoing productivity requirements as efficiently as possible. By implementing a digital workforce of software robots, they can ensure that work is done around the clock and without delays caused by human error. Secondly, service providers are increasingly looking for ways to break dependency on full time employees (FTEs) in order to save costs and drive revenue. Because robotic process automation is more cost-effective than outsourcing labor, it is a simpler solution to this challenge. In addition, robotic process automation allows both clients and service providers to share benefits including enhanced compliance and reduced risk, improved job satisfaction for retained staff, access to a significant repository of automated data and around-the-clock potential.
According to Sutherland, mass adoption of robotic process automation among BPOs will become increasingly evident through things like:
- Significant contract awards
- Service provider whitepapers focused on robotic process automation
- RFI/RFP templates including automation
- New cadres of automation solution architects
- Impact of automation on FTE growth, seat utilization and lease expenses
If Sutherland is correct (and we expect that he is), this could shape up to be a very exciting year for robotic process automation and BPOs that deploy it!