How to Define the Operational Processes Best-Suited for Business Process as a Service

By Mark McWilliams

There are staggering savings offered through the Business Process as a Service model, or BPaaS, compared with performing every business operation in-house. What your organisation may still be cloudy on are which functions would benefit the most from BPaaS. As a general rule, the best candidates for Business Process as a Service are critical, but non-strategic, operations vital to keeping a business running, but that can be effectively performed by a third party.

Focus on the resource-intensive and non-strategic for BPaaS

In identifying processes suitable for Business Process as a Service, some of the most obvious are those that do not hold particular strategic importance, but are resource-intensive and may benefit from the application of “best practice process” from an expert provider. These non-strategic yet necessary operations are often identical across organisations and even industries (such as payroll management) and can be better handled by a BPaaS provider without sacrificing competitive advantage. Competitive advantage can even be improved through Business Process as a Service due to lower cost and significantly improved business agility.

Similarly, processes demanding complex resources and that detract from employee time spent on more important projects are prime candidates for BPaaS. These tasks might already be underscored by inefficient processes, an inability to scale or legacy system lock-in — areas Business Process as a Service is designed to alleviate. BPaaS providers specialising in outsourcing these functions can alleviate traditional burdens, drastically reducing capital investment costs and freeing up resources to be used to fulfill more innovative objectives.

But don’t overlook some strategic processes, too

Given Business Process as a Service’s consumption pricing structure, even processes holding a degree of strategic value could be candidates for outsourcing, providing significant savings while allowing organisations to retain flexibility and control. BPaaS service providers with these specialist industry-specific or horizontal offerings can assume strategic responsibilities without detracting from businesses’ unique culture or competitive edge.

”Voice of the Customer” is a good example of applying Business Process as a Service to more strategic operations. This horizontal BPaaS offering providing customer feedback varies from organisation to organisation, making it incredibly strategic as it drives product development, service delivery, customer satisfaction and marketing. Within a BPaaS model,third-party providers can listen and communicate customer feedback in real-time (for which many businesses may not have the internal bandwidth or know-how) and more closely monitor customer sentiment. The Business Process as a Service provider may even provide suggestions as to how the business might respond to a shift in customer sentiment. And because the service is delivered as Business Process as a Service, you don’t have the risk and expense of large capital and operational investment to set up and run, instead opting to pay for the outcome as a measured service.

In both standardised and routine business functions, BPaaS can decrease expenses and shift time and resources to projects that move the business forward. While non-strategic processes are the most eligible candidates for Business Process as a Service, even components of highly strategic operations can benefit from third-party services where domain expertise is sought. Due to the tremendous advantages available with BPaaS, such as reduced cost and capital investment, those businesses that can effectively identify processes and implement change will quickly thrive in their respective industries.

Mark McWilliams has 25 years experience in the technology sector and is a Director of Datacom Investments.

He has detailed knowledge across the IT spectrum from data centres through to governance, with everything in between. He has also worked with organisations that have varying needs from a security standpoint, including those with advanced requirements such as banks and government agencies. 

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