Today outsourcing is not just limited to customer service but businesses also outsource their payroll, administrative tasks, legal services, IT, marketing and more. Business process outsourcing services trends are constantly changing and expected to continue so in the coming years as well. The major benefits of outsourcing back office tasks are – increased operational flexibility, access to new skills and reduced costs. The survey report from National Outsourcing Association (NOA) highlights that as 2020 approaches, an increasing number of organizations are expected to outsource primarily for service improvements and other value-added benefits.
According to a report from Value Market Research, key factors that are expected to boost the growth of the BPO market by 2025 are – the increasing capacity of organization data, rising expenditure on training, IT infrastructure and implementation, the growing need for customer analytics, modernization of the business environment and Cloud-based deployment. However, the risk involved with data privacy is the only major factor that can hinder the market growth to some extent.
Rise of new trends that are set to shape and change the BPO industry for the better are –
Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA)
Automating business processes, including back-office and front-office functions provides diverse benefits. Many businesses are now adopting Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) tools to automate their time-consuming processes like data entry or payroll tasks. Report from i-scoop predicts the RPA and AI-based business process transformation to grow from $701m in 2017 to $8,130m by 2022, a compound annual average growth rate (CAGR) of 63%.
BPOs will infuse AI in processes totally in the upcoming year, with humans working with technology as a team. Today, there are several organizations who are working on adding new cognitive features which include natural language processing and computer vision.
With the latest automated process, AI can –
- change the conventional way of data entry
- reduce the risk of making errors
- enable the data entry processes to become responsive, faster and safer
- maintain a high level of consistency, and
- reduce the use of paper-based data entry
Robotic Process Automation or RPA refers to the use of software with artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities that can handle high-volume, repetitive tasks that previously required humans to perform. When it comes to business processes, it also eliminates the need for manual data entry while increasing fulfillment rates and speed, efficiency and accuracy.
For instance, Infosys, a global leader in next-generation digital services and consulting has already implemented robotic automation in different process areas with “assistedge” and other technologies, looking at future BPO industry expectations.
AssistEdge can automate any repetitive process using AI-enabled software bots. This is the first customer service product for contact centers that delivers an integrated cross-channel experience. Its distinctive context-passing capability, patented self-care technology and an intuitive dashboard helps enhance customer experience and boost agent productivity. Available both on-premise and on the cloud, AssistEdge integrates the customer history from various channels and presents it to a call center agent within a single window dashboard. This distinct capability enables faster query resolution and helps companies significantly reduce average call handling time.
Other open source technologies like AHK and UIPATH are also used in automating the repetitive jobs.
Invest in cloud computing
Cloud computing is a comfortable platform that connects the audience over a virtual internet platform. It provides the convenience of making all the business requirements of the software, database, networking and storage all available over a server, handled through an internet connection. With the help of cloud services, even complex data can be managed efficiently for any business.
Organizations of all scales are now increasingly embracing cloud computing options for increasing business process speed and efficiency. It also –
- saves operational expense and business time
- allows greater flexibility to businesses
- improves convenience and efficiency in accessing files, and
- provides more options in BPO sector for the management of hardware / software
The three dimensions of cloud: SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS would help meet the organization’s IT needs that are ever growing today; the use of Saas can help BPO services to keep pace with the constant change of technology at an affordable cost. While outsourcing their back office operations to a data entry company, businesses must make sure that the firm uses cloud technology for safe and efficient handling of data.
Increased focus on social media tools and automation
Social media platforms also play a crucial role in handling customer care in any business. As Social Media usage is a popular online activity, most consumers will expect every company to be just as invested in social media as they are. In the coming years, companies will be looking to outsource social media marketing and management tasks to increase their business engagement and keep their customers happy.
All these trends will also change over time. Based on a forecast blog in i-scoop, it is expected that over the next four years, technologies used will move beyond RPA and ML (machine learning) to additionally encompass BPM (Business Process Management), SaaS platforms, analytics, DL (deep learning) and new digital technologies such as IoT and blockchain. Other predictions are – voice, image, and video processing will become key elements in handling unstructured data and the principal benefits sought from new business process models will enhance customer/user experience together with “minimal touch” straight through processing.
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