The current fad in shared services and outsourcing is Robotics, and if you believe what you hear, they are taking over!
Robotics (also known as Robotic Process Automation) is the application of technology that allows employees in a company to configure computer software or a “robot” to capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems.
Businesses recognise the power of this and many are engaged in the transition towards a more digitally oriented company. Automated capture and processing is seen as a vital enabler for successful transformation. It is important to the future because for many, robotics is a source of competitive efficiency and is integral to having an agile, effective, and efficient operating model.
That said, there are plenty of captive shared services centres and outsourcing contracts that have not leveraged robotics at all, as they have modern day challenges around:
- Process standardisation
- Change management
- Organisational compliance
- Leveraging IT departments to support their change
- Winning credibility of the business
It needs to be clear that robotics is not for every company. When considering the use of robotics to transform the way one operates, one needs to carefully consider the benefit of attempting this in line with the process maturity, location strategy, talent and career development models, the vision of what you are trying to achieve and the operating model that you have chosen today and aim to move towards in the future.
In particular, operating model strategies that planned moves offshore once processes were repeatable, predictable and measurable are being reassessed due to the changing landscape and previously outsourced contracts are also considered in line with what can be achieved through robotisation.