Will software robots really decrease offshoring and increase UK jobs?

I have written quite a few articles about business automation software in the past.

It seems that Intellect is now promoting the technology and embarking on a drive to help UK businesses understand the benefits.

Business process automation is all about the use of software robots to reduce the cost in time and money carrying out common business processes. Manual triggers are being replaced by software which integrates disparate systems to enable an end to end business process. Costs are saved by the reduced need for people.

This is being spoken of as a replacement for bodies offshore. For example UK mobile operator 02 took up automation software and as a result greatly reduced its reliance on offshore workers.  Better news for UK workers is that by automating work you actually create UK jobs.

IT suppliers organisation Intellect is, through a campaign, trying to increase understanding of automation amongst UK businesses. It says automation is greatly under-utilised in the UK.
Intellect says that if a company that offshores back office processes automates them with software it will not only require fewer offshore workers but will also need more UK staff to manage the robots. For example 02 is cited as reducing its offshore headcount by 50 through automation software while at the same time creating 15 UK jobs.

There are broadly two kinds of automation software I write about. These are back office automation as mentioned above and then there is IT automation. Because IT infrastructures are largely the same at all businesses regardless of industry, there is great potential for using standardised tools to automate IT tasks. This will enable IT workers to focus on transformational jobs.

I spoke to the UK head at IT automation software maker IPSoft and he reckons offshore IT suppliers will be doomed unless they harness automation software and change their business modes.

What do you think about automation software?