Future of the global outsourcing industry

There are several new technologies that are emerging and are increasingly adopted by service providers in the IT/BPO sector. This is expected to have a significant impact on global IT/BPO outsourcing. Some of these technology-driven trends that will direct the future of the global outsourcing industry include:

  • Automation/Process Automation – Eliminating human intervention in a process by pre-defining the process to ensure its applicability to all possible scenarios. Automation as a standalone technology is largely limited to repetitive tasks such as: data entry and validation, email notification, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), etc.
  • Robotics Process Automation (RPA) – Technology that allows configuration of software or a ‘robot’ to capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses, and communicating with other digital systems[1]. E.g. making ‘if/then’ decisions and rules, extracting and reformatting data into reports/ dashboards, reading and writing to databases, etc.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Combining cognitive automation, machine learning, reasoning, hypothesis generation and analysis, natural language processing and intentional algorithm mutation to produce insights and analytics at or above human capability[2]. Increasingly, AI and RPA are used together as ‘Intelligent Automation’ where the system goes beyond routine tasks to draw a conclusion e.g. approval of insurance claims, etc.
  • Cloud – Services made available to users on demand via the Internet from a service provider server (cloud) located at a geographically distinct location eliminating the need for on-premises servers and solutions. For example, adoption of services like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure are increasingly eliminating the need for local data centers.
  • Digital Services – A service that can be entirely automated and can be controlled by the user of the service. These services can be delivered through a range of digital services tools including like analytics, mobility, IoT, automation, cloud, etc.
  • As a Service (aaS) – Providing IT/ technology services as commodity over the Internet as a service covering hardware, software, services, etc. Includes a range of services like SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, etc.
  • Analytics – A range of business intelligence and processing solutions to assess data sets to drive business decisions
  • Internet of Things (IoT) – Interrelated web-connected physical devices (smart devices) with the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction e.g. smart fridge

[1] Source: Institute of Robotics Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence
[2] Source: Institute of Robotics Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence

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