Optimising benefits from outsourcing and robotic process automation

Find out how outsourcing contracts can drive optimal robotic process automation adoption

  • Share

Note: This landing page provides a high-level summary and layout of the paper. Please download the full paper from the link on the right.


Achieving costs and service quality optimisation through outsourcing or robotic process automation is not an either/or proposition. The combination of outsourcing and RPA can deliver major benefits to organisations in all industries, often over and above what can be achieved separately through either of these improvement levers. However, a structured approach to evaluating and implementing the opportunity, enabled by the right contractual construct, is required to realise the full potential.


1 Outsourcing and RPA complement each other

Outsourcing and robotic process automation (RPA) are both improvement levers for achieving higher accuracy, productivity, efficiency and cost reduction, and they are not mutually exclusive.

2 Integrating outsourcing and RPA has its challenges

A number of factors influence RPA adoption within organisations including their current outsourcing or offshoring situation, the number of incumbent outsourcing providers (if any) and the stage of the contractual/outsourcing lifecycle they are in. A common challenge for existing outsourcers is that the contract with the outsourcing provider may not have adequate provisions to enable optimal RPA adoption.

3 Outsourcing contracts should drive efficient RPA adoption

In a world where outsourcing and RPA are increasingly likely to co-exist, catering to this co-existence contractually will enable the organisations to optimise benefits from both these transformation levers. As the RPA phenomenon has only recently gained traction, most legacy outsourcing contracts do not have specific provisions in place that provide the flexibility to pursue the preferred integrated outsourcing / RPA implementation strategy.

4 Embedding RPA in the outsourcing lifecycle

Benefits from outsourcing and RPA adoption are maximised when a structured approach to implementing outsourcing and RPA is followed. Our integrated outsourcing and RPA implementation support approach acknowledges the fact that these two transformation levers are not mutually exclusive and that significant benefits can be unlocked by integrating the two.

5 Finally, the cake can be had, and eaten too!

The desire to quickly realise benefits has led many organisations to treat RPA as a series of point solutions, with scattered process ownership and less than adequate governance. Embedding RPA assessment and implementation within a wider outsourcing program is one way of optimising the benefits from both outsourcing and RPA.

  • For one, it enables an organisation to systematically assess its entire value chain and design a target operating model that optimally integrates RPA across both the outsourced processes and the processes that are retained in-house.
  • Secondly, it enables the organisation to tap into the outsourcing providers’ expertise in technology and process rationalisation in developing an optimal outsourcing and RPA implementation roadmap.
  • It also brings the contractual and governance oversight discipline of outsourcing to RPA that helps obviate some common causes associated with RPA failure.
  • Finally, it also acts as a driver for organisations to introduce sufficient rigour in their outsourcing contracts that helps them leverage their outsourcing providers as enablers of their integrated outsourcing and RPA optimisation strategy.