Digitization Revolutionizing the Modern Office
Hiring workers to perform various kinds of office tasks efficiently is the prime
concern in every organization. Businesses invest heavily in recruiting and finding the
right talent is often a tiresome task. But things seem to be changing with
digitization. The past few years have seen a new breed of digitized employees or
‘robots’ offering back office support for various kinds of activities. These robots don’t
take up space in the office and type on the keyboard, but are embedded in software
and have the ability to read screens, write administrative programs, communicate
with others, and perform various tasks with the same technologies their human
counterparts use. Digital labor could be on its way to drive the third industrial
revolution, say industry pundits. According to a recent study from the Oxford Martin
Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology by Dr. Carl Benedikt Frey (Oxford
Martin School) and Dr. Michael A. Osborne (Department of Engineering Science,
University of Oxford), around 47 percent of US jobs are risk due to computerization
over the next decade or two.
Advantages of Automated Office Processes
Quality and Reliability – As an automated system/services uses effective
algorithms and technologies, they are more reliable than human labor. For
example, the oncologists at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New
York use IBM’s Watson computer to provider cancer treatment diagnosis and
care. With 600,000 medical evidence reports, 1.5 million patient records and
clinical trials, and two million pages of text from medical journals for
benchmarking and pattern recognition purposes, this computer allows the
oncologists to compare each patient’s symptoms, medication history and
others details to diagnose and thereby devise a treatment plan that has high
probability of success. Advanced medical billing software can manage the
billing and collection tasks of a healthcare organization efficiently.
Efficiency – Routine or repetitive tasks (for example, data entry, creation of
user ID and passwords, account review and maintenance, issuing purchasing
order) which do not require judgment are major components of a business
project. Automated systems can replace human labor in these repetitive tasks
as they can perform the work faster and generate greater intensity of routine
inputs. which in turn, can increase productivity. For example, with automated
document indexing, it is possible to extract data from the scanned
documents automatically and export it to separate folders for each type of
document. This helps healthcare organizations manage their crucial
healthcare documents easily. As there is no need for software programming
skills to operate robots, users can access and control the automation while
they work, as opposed to requiring IT specialists and dedicated programmers.
Certain non-routine tasks are also automated today, as for instance, the
autonomous or driverless car that top automakers and technology companies
(Google) are out to develop.
Cost-Effectiveness – It is estimated that employing a robot will cost
approximately 1/3 of the cost of a human (globally sourced). According to a
HFS Research report, an on-shore IT worker may cost $80,000 a year and an
off-shore one may cost $30,000. But with use of a robot (Blue Prism), this
cost can be reduced to around $15,000 a year. The business outsourcing
analysts at Horses for Sources (HFS) say that robots are biggest threats to
traditional low-cost business process outsourcing.
With automated systems, companies can also perform jobs which humans shirk.
How to Make Digitization a Winning Strategy
Businesses can make digitization their winning strategy by identifying highly rulesdrive processes, finding business units that can operate bulk administration tasks
and reconsidering every outsourcing and offshoring decision.
However, advanced digitization is a thing of the future. Outsourcing can help you
leverage the benefits of both digitization and human skill. Experienced BPO
companies offer automated solutions, professional equipment and facilities, and tried
and tested workflows. But, there are some things to keep in mind while choosing an
external digitization service provider:
Prepare clear contracts that specify timeframes, costs and expectations
Ask the chosen service provider to give you the samples of work done and
lists of previous clients. Contact these clients and enquire about their
experiences with this company.
Clearly specify what is to be digitized, the range and type of material at the
outset so as to avoid the situation in which final cost would become higher
than the original estimate.
Make sure that the company has security measures to keep your data safe.
In the final analysis, make sure your organization aims at quality, efficiency,
optimization and continual improvement and remember that achieving these goals
are impossible without humans.