Sadly, I’ve reached the age where I am beginning to count how many years it is until I can start to draw my pension. Most days it’s a number far too close as I generally still love my job, although occasionally other days do have me dreaming that it was tomorrow.
My years of experience (!) in designing and running large back offices in the banking sector have seen me live through the centralisation of these back office functions, their subsequent outsourcing, followed by panicked in-sourcing when the wind or accountable exec changed, the drive towards off-shoring and, most recently, the delight of handling an 800-seat partial on-shoring project for a client.
For each one of those, the primary business case rationale was a step change reduction in the cost of the operating model, with CX being a nice to have secondary benefit when the business case needed a more politically acceptable feel to it!
What I couldn’t see was “what next” in the step change evolution of the back office.
That was held to be true until I reluctantly deputised for my boss at a meeting last year and was formally introduced to the world of virtual workforce robots, and an epiphany happened!
At its most simple level this is a piece of software that emulates the actions of a human in an operational process – once configured/trained, each virtual instance of an FTE is fully scalable, 100% trained, 100% accurate, and is available up to 100% of each 24 hour day.
Depending on your cost base and its location, these virtual wonders can also do the same volume of processing for as little as 1/9th of the cost of a human.
We are still at a relatively early stage in deployment both internally and externally but watch this space – every commentator and analyst in the marketplace recognises virtual robots as playing a significant part in all our clients thinking within 12 months.
As for my pension plans, they’re on hold for a while – I’ve a target audience in the UK alone of around 8,000,000 jobs to try and automate!
What do you think about the role virtual robots will play in operational processes? Leave a reply below or contact me by email.