Market Overview

IDC Identifies the Intelligent Automation Services Value Chain for Organizations and Services Providers Implementing Process Automation Solutions


Process automation, or robotic process automation (RPA), is an important
part of most organizations' digital transformation strategy. Automating
key tasks and decisions has the potential to increase business process
and IT operations efficiency, but it can also impact customer
experience, business and manufacturing processes, and strategies.
Because many service providers are already embedding automation into
their business process outsourcing (BPO) and business process as a
service (BPaaS) offerings, organizations are turning to these firms for
help with their own automation efforts. A new report from International
Data Corporation (IDC)
describes the intelligent automation value chain and provides insight
into service providers' consulting-to-operating models for their
clients' automation journey.

"Cost reduction and workforce and process efficiency are a few of the
benefits that are driving major interest in automation across many
organizations. While most organizations are still in the early phase of
RPA and AI-enabled automation adoption, developing an overarching
automation strategy and developing the right use cases that map to
specific business and IT outcomes will be crucial to the successful
adoption of intelligent automation in the near term," said Ali
, research director, IT
Consulting and Systems Integration Strategies
at IDC.

IDC has identified three stages in the intelligent automation value

Basic Automation is the automation of rules-based tasks (units of
work performed by a human or computer) and documented process rules
across applications. These are generally repeatable tasks leveraging
structured data and addressed with basic technologies like macros and
scripts. Use cases include executing data manipulations, creating new
documents, completing manual data entry, or extracting data from
multiple sources.

Machine Augmented Decision Making is process automation (or RPA)
enabled by software tools that are programmed to automate processes that
were formerly performed by a human by following a predetermined set of
rules. When exceptions arise while using RPA, both humans and machines
address them. Use cases include analyzing and processing invoices, best
recommendations, route and track work across ecosystem, and connecting
data sources to tasks at runtime based on context.

Autonomous Decision Making or decision-centric process automation
is enabled by systems or machines solving nondeterministic tasks by
continuously receiving and analyzing data to discover patterns that
predict a decision and offer a recommendation to improve it. Use cases
include recommendation engines, unplanned outage prevention, customer
onboarding medical diagnostics, and Intelligent virtual agents.

Services providers are engaging with clients to build RPA and
intelligent automation capabilities primarily via three stages, from
consulting and advisory engagements to full implementation and
optimization. Organizations seeking to build process automation
capabilities should consider the entire intelligent automation value
chain, including solutions based on self-learning systems and decisions,
rather than just looking at basic process automation. The ability to
identify potential use cases should be an important attribute when
selecting an intelligent automation vendor.

"RPA is embedded throughout most BPO engagements today, and buyers are
expecting a cost savings of almost 30% and to recoup the funds from
their initial investment in one to two years. However, providers can
still be more proactive in recommending automation capabilities
according to some buyers. For BPO providers to be successful with RPA or
AI implementations, sharing use cases will be critical – specifically,
the investment required (software licenses, implementation fees,
maintenance fees, etc.) and the cost and productivity savings achieved,"
said Alison
, research manager, Finance
and Accounting, BPaaS, and Analytics Services
at IDC.

The IDC report, Intelligent
Automation Services Value Chain
(IDC #US44127518), describes the
three main stages of IDC's intelligent automation value chain for
services, identifies the enabling technologies and use cases for each
stage, and provides insight into developing a process automation
strategy and choosing a services provider.

IDC's new Analytics
and Intelligent Automation Services
program looks at both analytics
and intelligent automation across the entire life cycle of services,
from consulting to implementation to managed services to BPO. The
research examines the business service that companies are building to
help their customers adopt automation as well as how automation is being
leveraged in service delivery. Coverage extends across the entire life
cycle of analytics services offered by business service companies
including information and data management, BI tools and analytics
application–related services, advanced analytics, big data, and
cognitive/AI services.

About IDC
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the
premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and
events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer
technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers
global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry
opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and
insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment
community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their
key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned
subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG),
the world's leading media, data and marketing services company that
activates and engages the most influential technology buyers. To learn
more about IDC, please visit
Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC
and LinkedIn.

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