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Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – A Threat or a Blessing for BPO Services!

Today, we are going to dive into the world of business process outsourcing and look at it from a balanced perspective. At the same time, we will compare it with the popular concept of Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

Are the robots going to take over BPO services or is it a hoax?

We consider the Asia Pacific to be the hub of professional outsourcing. Additionally, it goes to the credit of Asia Pacific that the BPO market here thrives for Robotic Process Automation (RPA), according to an article on Forbes.

Consequently, the escalation in robotic equipment poses a direct threat to professional outsourcing companies situated within the region.

CEOs of outsourcing companies are of the view that the presence and shift to technology are inevitable. However, it is not going to harm the industry but rather play a constructive role. Whether or not the bots will take over is insignificant because as you read on you will see them as opportunities to the BPO sector.

Robotic Revolution Affects

Professional outsourcing

The automotive industry is an example of how it seized the opportunity of robots and used it to enhance the manufacturing operation since the 1960s. RPA in the automotive industry takes us into the world of change from human to machine with its effects directly on the workforce and local economies.

The reach of robots is of far greater value than that of the humans. However, the mutual understanding of people and machines is very much there, which is what, gives us the finished product – the vehicle.

The departments that continue to benefit from automation include the manufacturing line, painting, welding and assembling of parts.

In a study published on ‘The Atlantic’, the economists Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo talk about the effects of replacing humans by robots on job statuses and their respective incomes.

One robot per 1,000 workers by the automobile sector creates a huge deficit in the employment rate and wages per person. Currently, it affects the employment-to-population ratio of 0.18% to 0.34% and decreases the wages from 0.25% to 0.5%.

Impact on BPO Services

What is true for the automotive industry is true for BPO services providers?

The answer lies in automation as much as we can to reduce human errors and careless mistakes. Technology is not there to make us feel worthless, but instead to be assistive at an impartial level.

As I mentioned at the start, nothing can stop technology to grow at a rapid pace, and it is going to replace some of the human function if not all. Presently, it is a common practice to see customer service chatbots in place of human customer support staff. It was once the job of humans to attend to customers on the phone and on the chat.

Marks and Spencer, the U.K.-based popular brand has announced customer service automation and AI to replace their customer services teams. Nevertheless, the employees who work in customer support will not lose their jobs. The department store will move them in-store where they will directly interact with the customers. That is the kind of adjustments we are likely to see in the era of automation.

BPO services will have to rethink their roles as automation relieves employees from jobs and pushes them to the ranks of direct customer engagement. Hence, we will see the bots take over redundant steps, take on simpler tasks and let the human population compete at a different, more innovative level.

RPA Is Not a Threat but an Opportunity

BPO services instead of thinking negative look at it from a positive perspective. Automation gives them an opportunity to reinvent themselves rather than cut out of the business industry. The more chatbots are able to replace humans, the higher is the chance for humans to achieve their potential.  It will motivate outsourcing firms to think at a different level and engage in higher-value customer encounters.

The organizations are already making the shift to automation through third-party providers. The iron is hot and if you strike it now in favor of RPA and AI, you are going to generate maximum leads as a BPO. It also refers to the lack of skill around AI and RPA within BPO services. Conclusively, in order to maintain your edge, training, and strengthening of your IT teams is a no-brainer.

We Must Be the Change to Accept the Change

As we know the definition of a BPO starts with the non-core operations of a business. For instance, in healthcare, medical practitioners may outsource their medical billing to focus on their patients. Treating the patients is high-value, strategic and creative work for them and billing only puts additional workload. As long as we become the elements of change, BPO providers should have no problem with AI or automation.

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