Is RPA the end of Business Process Outsourcing?

Jun 17,2019 by Prachi Priya
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“The last decade was about replacing labor with cheaper labor. The coming decade will be about replacing cheaper labor with autonomics.”

— Chetan Dube, Founder, IPsoft Inc.

Every business wants automated services to reach its audience, which highlights the exponential growth of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in recent times. In this fluctuating new era where technological enhancements are the need of the hour, every business wants automated services to enhance the customer experience.

No company accepts any possible threat to customer satisfaction and as customers today demand automated services, businesses have no choice rather offer outstanding automated solutions.

For decades, outsourcing has been the most efficient option to offer enriched services. However, after the introduction of RPA, rumors believe that automation would soon replace business process outsourcing!

Well, robotic process automation aims to automate business processes to make functions easier and has no intentions to make outsourcing outdated.

Having an RPA tool at work, businesses get a software/robot to interpret apps to process a transaction, manipulate data, communicate with digital systems and much more.

RPA looks forward to helping businesses by reducing operational expenses and avoiding any possibility of human error. It helps companies get bots that are low cost and easy to implement. With its help, it will be easy for businesses to automate services to the customers bringing a more precise and valued delivery.

With all these perks offered by RPA, companies are now shifting to utilizing its service, reducing the outsourcing market. This alarms a threat to the outsourcing industry, rumoring that it will become obsolete shortly! 

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Well, it is not very true, as RPA gives outstanding performance only with manual assistance at the backstage. It acts as a helping hand and does not aim to end employment through outsourcing.

However, here we have the potential threats to BPO from RPA:

Control on business functions

RPA technology offers splendid control of business functions. It avoids the possibility of an outsider getting an idea of your business objectives, which is a threat with business process outsourcing.

Cost reduction

RPA reduces business expenses and costs half the actual charges of an outsourcing contract. This is why businesses want RPA over outsourced services.

Better communication

An RPA bot gets training and it performs all tasks accurately thereafter. However, with outsourcing, the possibility of inaccuracy is not extinct.


RPA helps businesses’ program a bot to perform repetitive tasks accurately and this saves the business time and operational costs. Doing so, companies achieve compliance easily with business mandates. However, outsourcing demands repetitive checks and human intervention to instruct business functions to give appropriate results.

All these factors define the reasons RPA seems to take over outsourcing services.

So, is outsourcing out and RPA the new journey? Well, some limitations pull RPA back!

Some weaknesses of this new technology state that outsourcing will not be extinct in any time soon. Like, human agents handle scanned images and unstructured data better than RPA. To make these data useful for the bots, companies need to digitize it using OCR and other technology.

Check out the challenges faced by RPA that acts as an advantage for outsourcing:

  • When an agent performs the outsourced task, the error possibility is only to one transaction. Nevertheless, if a bot makes an error in one entry, several applications highlight the same error repeatedly.
  • RPA is a technology that mainly suits rules-driven processes.
  • RPA aims to be a helping hand to enhance business processes and can never replace the experience of humans. If your outsourcing task does not suit the RPA technology, automating will be of no use. Thus, RPA cannot be the end of outsourcing activities.

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Wrap Up:

Reading all the pros and cons of both RPA and outsourcing, what we take away is, both have their own importance and are essential to businesses in their own particular ways.

There is no doubt that RPA strengthens business performance by automating services and reducing manual tasks, but this does not mean it will make outsourcing antiquated.

Outsourcing cannot be defeated when it comes to calling jobs that require human intervention. Moreover, today outsourcing firms are the biggest users of RPA technologies making them firm in the market.

Organizations now realize that leveraging RPA in their operations can help in boosting customer satisfaction and attaining cost cutting, rather than being an obstacle.

Companies know the significance of freeing their staff from repetitive tasks to focus on high-value activities and this is why using RPA services will never be extinct.

Nor do the manual outsourcing functions be obsolete as human agents’ intervention at times is compulsory to help bots perform tasks effectively to meet targets.

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