HfS: Automation – it's about solving business problems, stupid!

InsightaaS: In just six years, Phil Fersht's Horses for Sources has become the standard for outsourcing research - and one of the world's most influential analyst firms. Serving a community of 140,000 subscribers, HfS provides deep, original research used by providers and consumers of sourcing services.

In this post, HfS EVP Charles Sutherland provides his insights into the issue of automation, and why it can be a boon to both sourcing providers and their enterprise clients - why, in his words, automation "is more than a surge of breathless marketing and less than the arrival of an entirely new outsourcing paradigm, but still a solution to many business problems."

As organizations seek to "cross the chasm" from a legacy labor arbitrage / staff augmentation model of business service delivery to a technology-enabled service experience that isn’t completely dependent on adding extra bodies to scale a service, the most immediate measure is to map out simple process workflows that humans are doing, and develop them in a software program using a process automation tool (and yes, I am trying to avoid using the term "robot" for now…).

Suddenly BPO clients discover, for example, that as sales of a particular product increase, they can scale their order management capability by replicating many of the human tasks processing those orders, as opposed to simply throwing more bodies at the problem. Many service providers will not be happy as this may well hurt their model of earning money through the supply of additional labor, but smart clients are already wisening up to the fact they need to get out of the FTE game. So, we asked HfS’ Charles Sutherland to share his views on what is really happening with process automation and why is shouldn’t be confused with technology automation theories of yesteryear…

Read the entire post: http://www.horsesforsources.com/process_automation_020814

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