How intelligent automation will revitalise workplace outsourcing

The outsourcing market is all set to be transformed by intelligent automation, according to an analyst note from Gartner.

Gartner defines these services as an umbrella term for a ‘variety of strategies, skills, tools and techniques that service providers are using to remove the need for labour, and increase the predictability and reliability of services while reducing the cost of delivery.’

As the analyst firm notes, replacing human labour with intelligent automation services (IAS) will only work if the automated services can offer a cost for the service provider. From their perspective, the move to IAS is coming about due to service providers realising they cannot continue to resource managed workplace services by just adding more service heads.

“Intelligent automation will alter the provision of managed workplace services over the next few years, increasing service quality at a lower price,” said DD Mishra, research director at Gartner in a statement. “Sourcing and vendor management leaders must prepare to restructure these services and renegotiate contracts to leverage intelligent automation.

“Automation-driven improvements in service delivery and pricing will allow sourcing and vendor management leaders to select a wider range of moving managed workplace services outcomes that will improve quality and cost simultaneously,” Mishra added.

This publication has previously examined the implications of how automated services would affect the workforce. Last month, for example, Dimension Data predicted that AI, alongside blockchain and robotics, would ‘reshape digital business’ in 2018. Forrester forecast similarly in the same month.

The more optimistic view around automation in the workplace is that it won’t have a huge effect. According to a report from Workfront in September, more than four in five of the 2,000 office workers polled agreed with the sentiment that ‘the use of automation in the workplace will let us think of work in new and innovative ways.’

The reality for outsourcing, according to Gartner however, may be a little different. Sourcing and vendor management leaders will need to ‘redesign the workplace services for their organisations’ users’, meaning that when 70% of the workload is dealt with by IAS, only 30% of the staff will remain.

 

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