Thus far our quest for robotic process automation (RPA) enlightenment has focused on some of the personalities building this emerging industry – from software providers, outsourcers and implementers. Alex Nield is Head of Solution Design for Business Services at Direct Line Group (DLG), and he represents the most important constituency in RPA-land: the small but growing cadre of ‘RPA buyers’. These are the organisations that have actually turned to RPA to transform the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations. It is time for Live Wires to get real.
Recently I attended the Brexit & Global Expansion Summit in London, an event that brought together politicians, businesses and investors for discussions on the investment implications of Britain’s tectonic decision to leave the EU.
One of the sectors we discussed in depth was offshoring and outsourcing. No one has a crystal ball, but what is clear is that Brexit has challenged so many fundamental economic assumptions about the value proposition for a British business operating a customer service centre in the UK.
When the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee released its 'Robots and Artificial Intelligence' report last month, it was a much-needed shot of adrenaline, encouraging the government to take seriously the impact of robotics and artificial intelligence on the future UK workforce. However, what was not clear was the focus companies should take in order to be on the upside of the jobs outlook in an increasingly automated world.
To summarise the report:
Nearshoring as a way to outsource critical business processes and product development is nothing new to key markets such as software engineering, yet emerging technology, market trends and government mandates are sparking a renewed interest in it as a means to cut costs, enable greater collaboration and provide a competitive edge.
Outsourcing the accounts payable (AP) function has many benefits, in particular enabling organisations to streamline essential operational processes and be more efficient. As with many outsourced functions, AP often requires expertise and technology that necessitate significant capital expenditure if they are to be made available in-house, whereas a third-party specialist will have up-to-date systems and a team of experts experienced in using them.
Risks versus benefits of outsourcing
There is no doubt that cloud, big data and artificial intelligence will be trending in 2017, just as they were in 2016, and will likely be in 2018. These are multi-year endeavours because the true implementation of technologies under these umbrellas have just begun, and challenges - like finding quality resources and better understanding of the technologies to fit into the business use cases - remain.
Piotr Zygula is the President and CEO of JCommerce SA, a Polish IT outsourcing provider specialising in custom software development. He's also, now, the latest participant in our Life Lessons interview series: Q&As featuring set questions designed to showcase learnings from the careers of sourcing and outsourcing professionals from around the world and across the space. Everyone ready to learn? Then let's proceed...
The world is growing increasingly complex. As such, agile capabilities and the ability to quickly adapt to changes in global environments are becoming more and more important. Events like the rise of extremist terror organisations and the dissemination of technology across the world have significantly changed the way in which enterprises interact. Businesses are quickly waking up to the rising demands placed upon them by this new international marketplace. However, too often changes caused by worldwide events catch organisations off guard.