What’s more effective, offshoring your routine responsibilities to a third party or having in-house personnel take care of it? If both Outsourcing and Automation are servicing and fulfilling the same objectives of enterprises, why not opt for the latter for greater control over your resources?
Business Process Outsourcing as a corporate strategy dominated most of the last decade and continues to be one of the primary means by which organizations achieve their business objectives. The initial requirement for outsourcing auxiliary tasks came about from a lack of expertise in the field and the need to reduce operational costs. Auxiliary services can be defined as those functions that do not contribute directly towards the growth of an organization, but nevertheless, are essential to its overall functioning. Shortage of skilled personnel for essential tasks such as accounting, payroll, recruitment, customer service, and even tech support, all of which constitute front-office and back-office functions, led to organizations seeking other companies to manage these operations. Outsourcing in the technology sector is also known as Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES).
What started off as means to leverage operational efficiency from skilled personnel is now considered a primary strategic tool to advance organizational growth.
In fact, the process of contracting work to third-party providers has become so profitable that organizations are now looking to extend this trend to more strategic, goal-oriented tasks. Today, organizational transformation is expected to come about by outsourcing specialist services revolving around data. Information and data constitute new money for growing corporations, and the one way businesses hope to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace is by outsourcing jobs that harness data to drive strategy and decision-making.
If the objective is to harness data for critical business analysis and application, there is another formula that is steadily gaining popularity — Business Process Automation (BPA). BPA leverages technology to put in place systematic workflows along process chains such as Procure-to-Pay (P2P), Order-to-Cash (O2C), Record-to-Report (R2R), etc. The purpose, objectives, and results from BPAs and BPOs are the same — cost optimization, reduced operational complexities, and optimal business outcomes.
The added advantage with Business Process Automation, however, is that you have full control over your business data; as responsible as BPOs are, you are still offshoring a great deal of critical business work and related information to a third party. While BPOs help offset a lot of your management struggles in handling routine tasks, there is nevertheless risk of not uncovering vital business insights that you would have otherwise discovered through in-house projects. Having business data under your control will give you the needed leverage to process it for the right business insights and analysis. With Offshoring, you are at a disadvantage in terms of controlling data and information for everyday administrative tasks. The 2019-2020 Gartner Annual Edition emphasized one thing, which is, by 2022, 90% of all corporate strategies will be framed based on information and analytics — BPA allows for the cultivation of these two essential enterprise assets.
Business Process Automation has advanced beyond traditional records management to accommodate multiple integrations with various applications for functions liking customer relationship management, business intelligence and analytics, accounting, human resource management, sales order management, and even remote tech support.
The immediate benefit you get from BPAs is that all your critical, routine functions are centralized and can be controlled and monitored from a central dashboard — having all your auxiliary functions in-house will help you maintain your finger on the pulse, so to speak. BPAs also create an interconnected platform of workflows from every department, so there is no instance of departments working in silos. This aspect of Business Process Automation gives you better control over your organization, enabling you to chart a course of success using first-hand, timely knowledge that you gain from your automated processes.
Many companies are deploying Intelligent Process Automation solutions, an advanced form of BPA, for taking care of their routine, rule based functions such as accounts payable and sales order processing. Because these tasks are performed in-house, your company is assured of corporate and client data security. It also sets up a credible audit trail for your company records and regulatory compliance.
As a final icing, BPA generates digital workers, so your organization need not worry about a shortage of skilled workers and associated manpower costs, which could be the case if you were offloading some of your work to a third party.