*Based on Strategic Foresight in the Business Services Sector 2020, Business Services Sector in Poland 2020
Growth in intelligent process automation is a clearly observable global trend in the business services sector in Poland.
In 2020, 59% of business services centers in Poland already use (to varying degrees) intelligence process automation. 33% of respondents intend to implement it in the future. Only 8% declared they were not interested in introducing this type of solution. IPA is most often implemented by SSC/GBS entities (65.6%), followed by hybrid centers (60.0%) and BPO centers (51.7%). The degree of implementation is lower in IT companies (45.2%), and the least in R&D centers (20%). IPA is used least in the centers of domestic companies in the sector (47.6%). Among those companies that have introduced some form of automation, 57% of respondents declared that they have a strategic plan for implementing intelligent process automation, and 31.5% declared their desire to have one. Only 11.5% of companies do not intend to have such a plan. The main declared objective of introducing IPA (41.0% of respondents) is to optimize costs. 31.7% of respondents declared it is to improve the quality of the services they provide, and 17.5% to streamline services. 9.8% of entities indicated other motives: to benefit from the new opportunities provided by hybrid workers; to optimize their use of employees – freeing them up from performing routine, repetitive tasks; to eliminate errors (increase precision); to reduce risk, thereby improving the efficiency of processes; to increase customer satisfaction, and to improve cooperation among employees (E2E process improvement). Some respondents indicated all those goals as being key to developing a competitive advantage on the market. Several respondents stated that IPA solutions have become an integral part of the range of services they provide to clients.
Intelligent process automation is considered a potential threat to jobs. Yet 69% of companies believe that process automation will have a neutral effect on hiring in centers, and 24.5% expect it to have a beneficial effect The use of IPA is becoming a new determinant of how centers in Poland function.
In process automation, centers can use both licensed external solutions and in-house solutions. As to licensed solutions, 68% of entities used them to automate up to 10 processes. 23% of companies used them to automate from 11 to 50 processes, and almost 6% of companies for 100 or more service processes. In the case of non-licensed solutions, 87% of entities used them to automate up to 50 processes, and 5% for 100 or more service processes. In the majority of centers to date, the use of IPA has not led to the full automation of job positions counted as the equivalent of full-time work. 1/4 of entities currently declare that IPA does not automate at least one position. 44% of licensed solutions and 36% of non-licensed solutions implemented have automated up to 5 job positions. In 7% of cases, the implementation of licensed solutions has automated 50 or more job positions. Internal solutions have proved more effective in this respect – that level of automation counted as FTE was declared by 12.5% of respondents. Globally, respondents declared the transformation of 2,800 jobs (barely 1.5% of declared employment). From this perspective, the process of robotization in Poland is really just getting underway. Almost 90% of centers in Poland that have introduced IPA use robots in their process automation. 38% of centers use machine learning, and almost 1/3 use virtual assistants (chatbots). The least popular technologies are image and video identification and natural language processing (NLP). RPA means creating software robots (bots) that simulate the activities of users performing defined, repetitive tasks in IT systems.
Find out what challenges in implementing IPA centers face: Strategic Foresight in the Business Services Sector 2020, Business Services Sector in Poland 2020