How Automation Will Change the Services Industry | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

As we at Everest Group look at the service delivery automation landscape and think forward to where we believe it’s heading, there is truly a lot of disruption in the picture. From working with and talking to service providers and enterprises implementing automation, we recognize that it’s more than just a labor-to-technology substitution. It opens up a lot of issues around service delivery and even how processes should be designed. It could change everything.

Let’s look at four areas of issues that result from automation.

Upgrade cycles

Some of the rationale for upgrading ERP systems or systems of records is to make incremental improvements. Automation eliminated that need. It’s not that you won’t need to invest in an upgrade; but there will be less pressure to upgrade.

Work location

As you automate transactional or rote work, you separate judgment and exception handling. This results in new choices as to where and who does that work and how you manage the talent for that work.

Process design

Automation also requires that organizations build a more intentional view of their business processes; otherwise, they will lose some knowledge residing in the rote staff doing the day-to-day work.


Customers may also change their thinking with regard to the providers that do this work. They will certainly ask more of the provider. Labor arbitrage will become less powerful and the ability to drive and maintain the automation layer will become more important.

Investment upgrade cycle choices, location choices, process design choices, sourcing choices … indeed, automation could change everything in the world of service delivery.

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