The Rough and the Smooth of Business Process Automation Technologies: Initial Insights of Our Deep Dive | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

We have been taking a deep look at the newer types of Service Delivery Automation (SDA) technologies for business process services (BPS). These include robotic, cognitive and plug-in architecture tools. Our interim findings show a lot of similarities and many differences.

BPS automations can be successfully achieved by all the tools, albeit, in different ways and for different types of processes. Some offer richer and more rounded features that make the software more user and enterprise friendly. The features include but are not limited to visual tools, automation control and management features, and process analytics.

Some are more advanced in their utility pricing and cloud deployment options than others that, for now at least, are sticking to older styles of licensing.

Some have other advantages such as being well supported by partners and resellers while others are behind on this.

We have been surprised by some of the findings too – for example, a technology vendor seemed to underestimate the potential of its software, which we thought could tap into new opportunities if wrapped in a control and management layer. Another surprise was a vendor that turned out to be more technology-focused than we had expected. Its well-practiced demo was impressive but showed a high focus on technology versus other considerations, such as a methodology, to get clients started.

This is a dynamic and changing landscape. And the technology providers are working to enhance their offerings, for example, the software itself or the partnership relationships.

The future outlook is a mix of product and eco-sphere developments:

  • Some vendors are starting to combine robotic and cognitive or AI capabilities while others are focusing on other aspects of intelligent automations
  • On the eco-sphere front we expect to see automation communities springing up supported by the technology vendors. These will share automation know how, best practice and, in time, portable and reusable automations
  • We will also see increased emphasis on resellers and implementation partners.

Another development is large system integrators building automation centres of excellence. The technology vendors will be competing to get into these centres.

Many service providers are also developing their own automation technologies. These will have to offer a more compelling outsourcing proposition to clients than in-sourced processes that are automated in-house, using the independent technology vendors’ automation software and supported by system integrators.

Keep an eye out for Everest Group’s in-depth report on SDA technologies and their assessment, which will be released soon. Our currently available SDA reports include:

Reports:

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