According to the Gartner research study in 2016, 40% of outsourcing jobs will be lost to artificial machines by 2018.
This figure is quite shocking if you are in the “outsourcing industry”. Even through the estimate from Gartner was far fetched, it is no secret that Artificial Intelligence(AI) machines will invade the so called “outsourcing industry”. The era of machines is going to arrive soon and it going to come fast.
We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run & underestimate the effect in the long run — Roy Amara
It will be the “low complex” jobs which would become the first causality of AI. Even today, there are commercial accounting BOTs in operations.
But there is one catch in this whole equation. Just think of the why the industry of outsourcing imaged? This can provide you the secret key to be on top of the wave of rise of the machines.
The main reasons for outsourcing are;
- Cost reduction
- Focus on core competency
- Lack of available skills
- Risk sharing
If you think closely, non of these factors can be overridden by AI machines. If you are an outsourcing provider, you can convert the threat of AI in to a golden opportunity.
Here is how;
It is assumed that you are an outsourcing company which provides the services to clients who are in another country.
Use AI to improve your own efficiency
If AI promises efficiency improvements, nobody said that it is limited to clients in Europe, US or any other country. Why can’t you use AI to improve efficiency of your services? This would enable you to provide a better services at a faster turn around time with a lower cost.
No client will stop you from AI as part of your services. Remember the purpose of outsourcing; If still the outsourcing client can provide a better services at a quicker time with reduced cost, nobody care who & how it is done.
Use AI today and be on top of the game!
Help your clients
Remember one fact that AI is not only going to be disrupting outsourcing jobs. It is going to disrupt the whole accounting services or any other low complex services. AI said to replace whole accounting professionals. Therefore the biggest hit would be your clients.
Therefore team up with your client and understand how synergies can be made. Synergies can be found in cost efficiency, technology expertise or any other areas.
Identify synergies, help each other and fight together!
Provide a mix of services
There will be small scale clients where AI will be costly for them. The costs of setting up AI, using AI, acquiring required knowledge will be too much for them. There will be a significant market share remain in these kind of companies even when AI becomes a full force.
Therefore it is important that outsourcing companies position their products & services correctly.
Remember AI is not free, it will have its own costs!
The need for manual intervention — there is a time window
Humans need to check the accuracy of jobs performed by AI as accuracy of AI still not fully assured. Some outsourcing jobs such as finance requires 100% accuracy. Therefore humans will have to check the quality of the work perform by AI.
This demand will only be there till AI picks up accuracy but outsourcing companies can still explore the opportunity.
It will take some more time for AI to become 100% accurate!
Develop your own AI
You have the knowledge of how things are being done in your services area. Why can’t you develop your own AI service? There are multiple AI platforms from Google, IBM which can be used to develop AI solutions cheaper and faster.
Get few capable developers and within some months you should be able to have your own AI service. You have the biggest advantage as you know how things are done & industry insights.
Develop your own AI BOT and lead the wave!
In summary, there is no doubt that Artificial Intelligence will change the outsourcing industry as well as AI will make the whole economy upside down. But this is nothing new.
This debate of people losing jobs, etc. was there for many centuries back and it will be there for many centuries to come. This is a just a part of whole human evaluation.
When James Watson introduced the steam engine or Henry Ford introduced the mass market car, I am sure there would have been lot of panic from horse carriage owners on how they can survive.
It is all about adapting to change of rise of AI machines.
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change. — Charles Darwin
The rise of AI BOTs in services industry is a paradigm shift of how things are done (unless AI takeover the earth!) So it is all about adapting to the change and understand how the wave can be ridden.