She's bright and breezy... HFS hires Miriam Deasy!

June 18, 2019 | Phil Fersht

Miriam Deasy (see bio) joins HFS as Research Director, Integrated Automation 

Just when you thought this little analyst firm wouldn't dare add another rock star brain into our "Triple A" coverage (analytics, automation and AI) we've gone and done it again, adding Miriam Deasy to our global analyst team (based in UK) to cover integrated automation and AI platforms, alongside the likes of Elena Christopher, Reetika Fleming, Tapati Bandopadhyay, Melissa O'Brien, Saurabh Gupta, Ollie O'Donoghue and myself.  Miriam has develop a career across the world of technology and services with roles at EDS (HP) and Amdocs back in the day, before taking out time to raise two boys and a girl William (12), Kayleigh (10) and Darragh (9) before making her move to the analyst world with IT and telecoms firm Ovum three years' ago.

Miriam adds to our growing Irish contingent (from one to two), brings deep sense of wit and sarcasm, an appetite to call the raw truths over the marketing fluff... and a strong love of Prosecco and Pims... so let's hear more about this curious new addition to HFS:

Welcome, Miriam! Can you share a little about your background and why you have chosen research and strategy as your career path?

Thanks, Phil... delighted to be joining HFS. My background is varied: a hybrid undergraduate degree in business and law at University College Dublin followed by a 2 year systems engineering graduate program that EDS (now DXC) ran.  The breadth of the three disciplines (business, law, IT) and a lot of learning along the way, underpinned a variety of interesting roles in tech and telecoms since.

I'm most interested in the intersection points between siloed areas and always interested in the choices, the "why" and bigger picture. I worked through a series of analyst roles in tech and telecoms (lots of telco billing): business analysis, technical analysis, market analysis - and some consulting, product marketing and strategy roles before becoming an industry analyst.

The vantage point that we as industry analysts enjoy is a tremendous privilege, getting to meet with the top thinkers, visionaries and strategists in our industry and synthesising across these perspectives, in conjunction with data, to form our own view of what makes sense today and, more importantly, going forward.

What are the areas and topics that you’re initially focusing on with your HFS analyst role?

Recently HFS famously established that RPA, as we once defined it, is “dead”, and evolving. The next stepping stone is integrated automation, integrating data flows beyond standalone RPA at the surface to deeper and/or broader integrated automation initiatives encompassing OCR and ML enabled image recognition (intelligent automation). Today, AI is visible as bolt on functionality as its emerging capabilities become enterprise ready. Simultaneously, and this is where I’ll be focusing, large enterprise platforms are embracing automation, integration, analytics and AI reducing drudge work and surfacing insights to decision makers and daily users. There are multiple paths being followed here, there are development initiatives underway in-house, partnerships and acquisitions are prevalent too.

What trends and developments are capturing your attention today in technology and business operations?

The pace of change is extraordinary right now. Irrespective of whether you view it through the lens of Industry 4.0, or as a bigger yielding of old power structures (capitalism) to new ones (sharing economies). Compute, processing, and storage are still getting cheaper and more accessible; knowledge becomes abundant and energy is headed that way too. The two fundamental and incontrovertible truths of this era are:  Marc Andreessens “software is eating the world” and Shosanna Zuboff’s “anything that can be automated will be automated”. If we accept these axioms absolutely, then every smart move that tech vendors make is toward automation. What we’ll see over the coming years is a series of steps that enable the transition from the legacy systems that run the world’s businesses laden with friction and full of gaps to highly automated platforms and interlinking ecosystems. There won’t be a single magic wand or silver bullet, large enterprises will have to manage their journeys step by step with an eye on the longer term. That's not just the easy, short-term quick fixes, and not just cost-cutting either, rather it's better ways of architecting, building, and integrating IT systems so that data flows more smoothly in, through and out of the system to support the customers, employees and partners that interact with the business.

Is the analyst industry much different now than when you were at on the vendor side a few years ago? What is changing in your opinion, Miriam?

I think what’s changed most is the quantity of information that we can all access and the increased sophistication of marketing machines within tech organisations. In the past people needed analysts to provide information that was otherwise scarce. Now, what’s more useful is a succinct viewpoint – less is more. The opinion layer on top of the facts is more crucial than ever. When there is so much information available, it’s trust in the information source that becomes the new differentiator - what vested interests are at play? What messages or narrative is being supported? This is where I feel HFS excels - no stranger to controversy and brave in asking hard questions (even of the hands that feed it!), but in a constructive way.

So, Miriam, what are you working on first for our clients

Looking at integrated automation platforms, I’m especially interested in the acquisitions, partnerships and developments affecting large enterprise software platforms that impact the Triple A Trifecta of automation, AI and analytics. It’s not just the purely technical aspects of these changes that matter, the holistic view extending across people and processes matters too as new business models emerge. The biggest impediment to change is people. So, I’m interested in SAP acquiring Contextor, and Salesforce acquiring Mulesoft, and more recently Tableau and what these acquisitions enable.  I’m also interested in marketplaces that support loosely coupled architectures and building block approaches to piecing together enterprise solutions with smooth integration points.

And, what do you do with your spare time (if you have any...)

I enjoy spending time with my family, we are London based, but make lots of trips to see extended family in Ireland (where I was born and bred) and Canada (my other half’s homeland). Our three children keep us busy; much of our time is spent on the side of rugby pitches, football pitches, gym classes and swimming pools, or trying to find fun (‘cause if you say it’s “fun” often enough…) ways to inject any form of maths into baking, gardening, shameless incentivization schemes and days out. We currently fight a constant battle for attention with Fortnite.I would like to see Epic Games gamify maths education.

Well there you have it... just the latest addition to a (surely unrivaled) analyst team in the world of balancing operations, services and emerging tech.  Welcome, Miriam!

Posted in: Robotic Process AutomationEnterprise Integration PlatformsArtificial Intelligence

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