A Changing World: How BPOs and Service Bureaus are Driving Digital Transformation

Siddhartha Bhattacharya, Vice President Global Marketing, Kodak Alaris

In the quickly changing landscape of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), delivering traditional services is no longer enough. Increasingly, customers expect an outsourcing provider to drive digital transformation throughout their organization, in addition to streamlining processes and cutting costs.

A decade ago, customers sought out a BPO or service bureau to remove time-consuming processes from their operations—a straightforward use of labour arbitrage. Today, what they’re seeking is more complex: a trusted partner to help them navigate the turbulence of an evolving world.

In a business environment increasingly driven by new technologies, personalized solutions and customization is the key.

Moving Beyond Paper

Business leaders know they need to adapt to meet future demands. In fact, 49 percent of today’s outsourcing clients expect to undertake a wide-scale transformation of their business processes within two years to capture new and more sustainable business outcomes that are enabled by technology. But they can’t achieve that transformation alone—they want their BPO or service bureau to guide them along the way.

In the past, these service providers focused their efforts on handling paper processes, freeing up customers to invest time and attention in their core business. That’s still essential. But in an age of multifaceted electronic communication, sorting and scanning are not enough.

Partnering with customers to transform their business processes has a positive impact on the bottom line. On average, driving paper out of business processes improves speed of response to customers and staff by a factor of four.

Cloud-based services empower BPOs and service bureaus to better handle the variety of data entering their clients’ organizations and their own. Over half of outsourcing customers that have adopted cloud-based processes as part of a technology transformation say it has enhanced effectiveness.

Merging digital information with paper-based workflows is a challenge, but it’s a major source of potential revenue for BPOs and service bureaus.

Power of Automation

Manual processes are not only labour-intensive but also expensive. As labour costs rise, BPOs and service bureaus need to take advantage of automation, according to a recent report by KMPG:

“Any human job which involves largely transactional, low-end, repeatable tasks has a limited lifespan because the payoff of transitioning from labour-to tech-centric models is enormous.”

“Evolving technologies like the cloud and mobility mean leading BPOs must offer custom solutions tailored to each customer’s unique digital footprint.”

Digital transforma­tion is revolutionizing every aspect of busi­ness—including the processes handled by outsourcers. To suc­ceed in this changing world, BPOs and service bureaus need to position them­selves as tech-savvy problem solvers ready to lead.