It’s hard to believe that ten years have passed since HFS introduced RPA to the industry. Now we’re finally focusing on automation as a value lever that drives value beyond cost reduction and productivity gains. However, we still have a long journey ahead, with two-thirds of automation leaders self-declaring themselves as novices.
The economic conditions in 2023 will put automation in the hot seat, and expectations are on operations leaders to roll out automation initiatives
In short, the pandemic was good for automation technologies because enterprises used them to fix immediate problems that were impeding organizations, whether it was adding chatbots to fix CX shortages, plugging gaps in broken supply chains, fixing government loan systems to save struggling businesses, pulling together critical data across healthcare value chains, etc. RPA created a narrative that was eons away from what it really did, but the real solution to automation’s problems is its role in helping organizations out of a hugely complex economy in 2023, with companies laying off and being forced to automate to keep the wheels on.
Far too many firms have been fat and happy and inefficient for years, and their chickens will finally come home to roost in this challenging market. Moreover, the utter confusion being created with so many staff working from home is becoming a huge farce… just watch companies ordering staff back to the office in January (the pendulum has swung). This is a moving dynamic…
There will likely be a lot of layoffs in Q1 next year, so firms will be forced to do more with less… will they be able to? Bad managers will use work-from-home as an excuse and either force staff back in or lay them off. The net result will be a lot of confusion and complexity, and firms will find themselves short-staffed and needing a lot of help. Automation will be expected to fill the labor void by many firms, especially as it tops investment levels in organizations, and operations leaders are now expected to be able to drive automation projects. There are enough case studies out there, and there are no more excuses – get automating and do it quickly!
The need for partners to drive automations deep into the enterprise is ramping up fast
So one thing is clear, most organizations will need a lot of help to roll out real automations that perform more than basic RPA – they need to evaluate automation and AI technologies across the board to move their organizations forward across our three Horizons:
- Horizon 1: Ability to drive functional optimization outcomes through cost reduction, speed, and efficiency
- Horizon 2: Enablement of the OneOffice model of enterprise-wide end-to-end automation
- Horizon 3: Ability to drive synergies and completely new sources of value across the business ecosystem
To find out, we looked at 18 automation service providers and management consultancies across these three horizons:
Providers were assessed across a series of four criteria
- The Why: Value proposition, including market vision and strategy, and competitive differentiators;
- The What: Execution and innovation capabilities, including breadth and depth of automation services, technology capabilities, proprietary tools and solution accelerators, patents and intellectual property, the strength of their talent pools, and the strengths of their ecosystems;
- The How: Go-to-market strategy, including relevant acquisitions and other investments, co-innovation and collaboration approaches, industry and geographic client portfolio, creative commercial models, and thought leadership and market education.
- So What: Market and client impact, including size and growth automation practice, nature of value delivered, and voice of the customer
The 18 service providers covered in this report include, alphabetically, Accenture, Bain and Company, Capgemini, Cognizant, Deloitte, EXL, EY, Genpact, HCLTech, IBM, Infosys, KPMG, NTT Data, PwC, TCS, UST, Virtusa, and Wipro.