The pandemic drives appetite for automation and robotisation

Business centres will not return to state before the coronavirus outbreak.

After Bratislava, Košice is the second-most popular destination for business service centres in Slovakia.After Bratislava, Košice is the second-most popular destination for business service centres in Slovakia. (Source: TASR)

Shared service centres (SSCs) and business service centres (BSCs) have operated online from their very inception. This digital DNA makes them extremely flexible and better prepared for crises. The current crisis, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, forces these centres to search for new forms of work and collaboration, and to speed up digitalisation and robotisation.

"Pandemics and crises force companies to look more intensively for ways to increase their extent of adaptability to new conditions,“ Peter Rusiňák, AmCham senior policy manager and AmCham Business Service Center Forum (BSCF) coordinator, told The Slovak Spectator.

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Based on a BSCF survey conducted in the first half of 2020, as much as 44 percent of its member companies plans to automate more than 10 percent of their processes during the following two to three years, while 41 percent of the centres surveyed have not set any goal in this respect.

"These numbers, in principle, highlight the premise that automation has been a natural part of the life of business centres,“ said Rusiňák.

He pointed out that compared with 2019, the share of centres without a concrete goal in automation increased by 11 percentage points. He ascribes this change to an increase in the number of companies that focus, because of the pandemic, on other goals besides automation.

"What remains unchanged are the types of automation and robotisation member companies of AmCham BSCF implement in the long term - from automation for data reporting, process automation, RPA solutions up to the automation of internal processes and the development of chatbots,“ said Rusiňák.

Rusiňák is certain that the business centre sector will not return to the state before March 2020 and that this is true for all aspects of their operation.

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