The BPO Services Market Is Rapidly Adopting Automation Technologies

The global business processes outsourcing market was valued at around $200 billion in 2018. By automation type, the BPO market is segmented into automated BPO services and non-automated/manual BPO services. Although the global manual BPO service market was the largest segment in 2018 at around 81% of the total BPO market share, automated BPO services will be the fastest growing segment to 2022, reaching a value of $145.4 billion. The automated BPO service segment will significantly grow at an annual growth rate of more than 40.5%. Exponential growth in the automated BPO services market is due to rapid adoption of automation technologies such as robotic process automation, Chatbots and artificial intelligence-based tools.

BPO services providers globally are increasingly using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to automate back-office work for cost optimization and improved efficiencies. Macro or scripted, IT, and business process automation are the most adopted technologies. RPA is widely used in the IT and F&A (finance and administration) processes of the BPO sector. RPA is the most mature and widely adopted automation technique in the market currently. Software automation is replacing various repetitive tasks previously handled by BPO back-offices. For example, processes involving simple data movement, checking, validation, and aggregation can be automated to reduce errors. Omnichannel automated platforms allow for more customer touch-points, including voice chat, online chat, mobile, social, and chatbots, thus increasing customer satisfaction. For end-clients, automation of processes plays a critical role in selecting a BPO service provider. A best-in-class RPA process can replace 1.5 FTE (full time employee) manual resource per robot installed in place. According to the Institute for Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence (IRPA AI), the use of RPA can offer 25-50% cost savings. However, the failure rate of implementing and adopting RPA is 30-50% due to the complex nature of the process.

Artificial intelligence deals with computer science that highlights the creation of intelligent and advanced machines that react and work like a human. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is designed to perform activities such as problem-solving, planning, learning, recognition of speech and other similar tasks. Machine learning and engineering knowledge are the core part of AI. AI has been changing the conventional way of data entry with the latest automated processes reducing the risks of making errors. It also enables the data entry processes to become responsive, faster and safer with a high level of consistency. Automation Anywhere’s Cognitive IQ Bot, for instance, leverages advanced AI techniques such as computer vision and unsupervised and supervised machine learning. This technology significantly increases straight through processing (STP) for labor intensive processes such as invoice administration or loan application processing. Tata Consultancy Services, an India-based IT services and BPO company, has developed its AI product, Ignio, which uses artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and advanced software engineering to transform business processes.

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