Phil Fersht
CEO and Chief Analyst

Phil Fersht is widely recognized as the world’s leading industry analyst focused on the reinvention of business operations due to technological innovations and the globalization of talent.

He identifies change agents enabling organizations to streamline digital operations, access rapid and critical data to base decisions, and exploit the increasingly available global talent base. He coined the term Generative Enterprise™ in 2023 to articulate the pursuit of AI technologies based on large language models (LLMs) and ChatGPT to reap huge business benefits to organizations in terms of continuously generating new ideas, redefining how work gets done, and disrupting business models steeped in decades of antiquated processes and technology.

With more than two decades of experience, he has a global reputation for calling out the big trends, being unafraid to share his honest views, and driving a narrative on the technology and business services industries that shape many leadership decisions. His reputation drove him to establish HFS Research in 2010. It has become a leading industry analyst and advisory firm and is the undisputed leader in IT business services and process technologies research.

In 2012, he authored the first analyst report on robotic process automation (RPA), introducing this topic to the industry. He is widely recognized as the pioneering analyst voice that created and inspired today’s RPA and process AI industry.

Fersht coined the term OneOffice™ in 2016 to describe HFS Research’s vision for future business operations amidst the impact of cloud, automation, AI, and disruptive digital business models. OneOffice is the foundation of the hybrid (virtual-physical) workforce, where automation and AI tools augment the employee’s digital capabilities, and the workplace becomes a plug-and-play, work-from-anywhere scenario. Silos between front, middle, and back offices are collapsed into a single office, where all employees are empowered and motivated by common outcomes and common values. In 2022, he coined the term OneEcosystem™, which extends the principles of OneOffice beyond the walls of the enterprise, and collaboration and connections between organizations across the customer life cycle drive innovation.

Before founding HFS in 2010, Phil held various analyst roles for Gartner (AMR) and IDC and was BPO Marketplace leader for Deloitte Consulting across the United States. Over the past 20 years, Fersht has lived and worked in Europe, North America, and Asia, advising on hundreds of operations strategy, outsourcing, and global business services engagements.

He is also the author and creator of the most widely read and acclaimed blog in the global services industry, Horses for Sources, now entering its fourteenth year of publication. He regularly contributes to key media publications and is frequently a keynote speaker at major industry events, such as NASSCOM, ANDI, ABSL, Sourcing Interests Group, and HFS Research FORA Summits. He has been named Analyst of the Year on three occasions by the Institute of Industry Analyst Relations, which voted on 170 other leading IT industry analysts.

He received a Bachelor of Science, with Honors, in European Business and Technology from Coventry University, UK, and a Diplôme Universitaire de Technologie in Business and Technology from the University of Grenoble, France. He also has a diploma from the Market Research Society in the UK and is an expert in quantitative and qualitative research techniques. He also trains analysts on how to write in a succinct, high-impact style, applying his Five Rules of Writing, which differentiates the HFS analyst voice.

  • In 2023, HFS Research released a seminal study on the state of innovation in the financial services market’s asset and...Read More

  • Francis chances with HFS!

    January 31, 2024 |

    We are thrilled to announce a significant addition to the HFS Research team, as we welcome Francis Carden as our new Chief Technology Evangelist. Francis brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise that will undoubtedly enhance our capabilities and benefit our clients.Francis brings four decades of invaluable experience in the realm of software automation, having co-founded successful companies such as Pixel Innovations and OpenSpan. In 2016, Pega acquired OpenSpan to launch its RPA capabilities, and Francis led Pega's digital automation and robotics business.Read More

  • Are the Big 4 about to get their lunch eaten by GenAI?

    January 29, 2024 | ,

    Up until November 30th, 2022, the Big 4 consultants dined on the ineptitude of large enterprises to move bad processes into the cloud, while the Indian heritage outsourcers fed on the tasty scraps of supplying armies of low-wage talent at scale to keep these hulking institutions somehow functioning. Nothing has disrupted the cozy status quo of big enterprise technology transformations more than GenAI.  It has been a true leveler across the industry where suddenly everyone is operating on a level playing field, trying to convince the world they have a better GenAI story than their competitors. Our industry has been equalized, and a new set of winners are going to emerge...Read More

  • One small hop for tech, one giant leap for mankind… can Rabbit’s Large Action Model disrupt how we get things done?

    Large Action Models (LAM) are the most exciting development in AI evolution since ChatGPT was launched. Having an AI assistant not dependent on islands of apps that do not integrate with each other is everything we've been crying out for... But the future potential of LAMs is a lot bigger than addressing this burning problem plaguing our smartphone lives - it also has significant implications for the future of enterprise tech.  It's just incredible that while Google, Meta, Microsoft, et al. are all working on the evolution of LLMs toward actions and problem-solving, a startup like Rabbit is allegedly ahead of them.Welcome and step forward Jesse Lyu, who could well be the new Chinese Steve Jobs.Read More

  • Only humans can make AI ‘ethical’. Machines make it transparent and accurate

    January 18, 2024 | ,

    Many tech firms and service providers have done themselves no favors by lumping ethics in the same ‘AI governance’ bucket as accuracy and transparency. In doing so, they have muddied the waters. Ethics, accuracy, transparency, and openness are fundamentally different. Hard-coding ethics into AI could prove an extraordinarily arrogant and risky thing for any human to attempt today. Read More

  • Process intelligence unlocks faster and better innovation with GenAI

    January 15, 2024 | ,

    When enterprises define their GenAI adoption roadmap, they must consider the value process intelligence can deliver if they want the technology to reach its full potential. Celonis Founder Alex Rinke sat down with Phil Fersht to talk about the value of partnerships with the likes of of LLaMA and Hugging Face, so it might get even easier to infuse process intelligence with your Generative AI plans.Read More

  • HFS is intrepid… apparently

    January 06, 2024 |

    Leading marketing strategy firm Antics has positioned HFS Research as "Intrepid" in a recent analysis of the leading tech analyst firms. Read More

  • The Truth might just help you win…

    December 25, 2023 |

    In 2024, I will push my team even harder to be brave and speak the truth in this world of bullish*t marketing, relentless hype, blatant lies, and swirl of nonsense.  We have more than doubled HFS since 2019, so there is one lesson to take away from this:  Truth sells!Read More

  • Be pragmatic, excited, and responsible: how to get GenAI done

    December 22, 2023 | ,

    Sandeep Dadlani, Executive VP and Chief Digital and Technology Officer at UnitedHealth Group (UHG), the world’s largest healthcare enterprise with diversified businesses, has a long and deep technology experience across multiple industries on both the supply and demand side. His early days at UHG coincided with the explosion of GenAI on the global stage and has been shaping some of the thinking and doing for him.In speaking with Sandeep, it is clear about the methodical and structured approach he is driving at UHG could define how healthcare leverages the latest technology miracle.Read More

  • Not even God can save DXC!

    December 21, 2023 | ,

    DXC Technology's latest play is to bring Raul Fernandez off the bench as the new interim chief and move on from a difficult four years under Mike Salvino, who's passing the torch. But when you look at the challenges facing this firm, you might just come to the conclusion that not even God can turn this one around.Let's not kid ourselves; this isn't your usual passing of the baton – it's more like handing off a ticking time bomb. The company's market value is literally running on fumes and barely a third of its revenue numbers. And that's not just a hiccup – it's a full-blown identity crisis.Read More