The ability to understand and use automation is a skill which is “increasing significantly” in demand, according to new research from Horses for Sources (HfS).

With their current business processing outsourcing (BPO) relationships, the majority of buyers, providers and advisors all state that automation skills are becoming more and more important. Provider professionals have noticed the most significant rise in demand, with 69 per cent stating the need to understand and deploy automation is increasing significantly. Some 65 per cent of service buyers and 61 per cent of advisors said the same, reports horsesforsources.com.

Just over half of buyers and providers are now spending their time identifying new cost reduction opportunities, indicating that they are running out of ways to lower expenditure. This is especially true for advisors, as just 48 per cent are focusing on saving money. HfS believes that BPO buyers, providers and advisors are therefore looking to lower unnecessary labour costs by reducing the number of manual tasks that need to be performed.

“With the heavy marketing coming from service providers and technology firms offering robotic process automation (RPA) solutions, the awareness from the buy side – and pressure on operations managers – to have a more defined, measurable automation strategy, has never been as intense as it is today, and is likely to crescendo for some time to come yet,” notes HfS.