Clever Machines at Your Service

17 Feb 2016
by Sarah Burnett

Executive Summary

We are seeing wave upon wave of technology-enabled change in the global sourcing market. Smart automation technologies, in particular, are coming in at a time when the market has already been disrupted by the rise of Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Smart technologies are intelligent software with machine-learning capabilities. These derive their intelligence in a variety of ways including big data, patterns, or natural language capabilities. They can automate processing of information including structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data. These capabilities expand the scope for process efficiency through more automation. They bring new opportunities to automate both simple and complex processes and even decision-making. They can complement and enhance manual and RPA-enabled processes, working hand-in-hand with them to automate larger portions of processes.

Case studies showing the benefits of smart automation are already emerging displaying increasingly sophisticated operations. More examples of scalable and quick to deploy use-cases will no doubt emerge in 2016, which should convert buy-side decision-makers who are new to the technology. The same pattern of early adoption by leading-edge businesses followed by wider take-up has been true for RPA.

In organizations seeking purely to reduce operational costs, smart automations will, in time, lessen demand for knowledge workers. However, reducing the burden of repetitive and routine processing work will deliver more agility and capacity for businesses, allow knowledge workers to focus on revenue generating work, and create new jobs and services through capabilities such as enhanced answers and recommendation engines.

This viewpoint takes a look at the field of smart automation and its impact on service delivery. The viewpoint discusses:

  • The paradigm of service delivery automation
  • The rise and the impact of RPA on global sourcing
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI), the evolution of automation and its impact on service delivery
  • Barriers to adoption
  • Evolution of smart automation – what next?

This viewpoint is based on Everest Group’s extensive research examining the topic of Service Delivery Automation (SDA). The whitepaper leverages Everest Group’s ongoing primary and secondary research encompassing enterprises, technology vendors, GICs, and other relevant industry stakeholders.


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