As one of Gartner’s Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2022, hyperautomation – the disciplined approach companies use to automate their numerous business and IT processes – is something we’re all paying attention to right now. This week, Gartner released their 2022 predictions for hyperautomation, and I’m here to weigh in on what they mean for enterprises as they start making critical technology decisions in the new year.
Gartner’s four predictions include the following:
- The importance of governance. By 2024, a siloed approach to hyperautomation initiatives will drive up initiative-specific total cost of ownership by 40-fold, making adaptive governance a differentiating factor in financial performance.
- An increased focus on composability. By 2024, growth of automation marketplaces will propel 80% of large enterprises to pivot to principles of composability, to minimize operational independencies, and maximize the value of their hyperautomation initiatives.
- A drive towards vendor-agnosticism. By 2024, the lack of standardization and uniformity in vendor pricing structures will continue driving 40% of clients to increase hyperautomation vendor-agnostic business capabilities.
- A rise in managed hyperautomation service providers. By 2024, 40% of organizations will use managed service provider hyperautomation offerings to fill in infrastructure operations gaps, fortifying a foundation for total cost of ownership (TCO) and scaled automation.
Let’s take a closer look at these four ideas and unpack them a bit.
First, it’s important to note that the driving force behind most of these predictions is the massive increase in automation adoption that’s occurred over the past few years. Growth in this area has been strong on its own, but the pandemic has accelerated adoption greatly, with some industry analysts saying acceleration has been expedited by up to three years.
A second driver behind these four predictions is the fact that companies aren’t adopting automation technologies in a centralized, orderly fashion. Instead, various groups within organizations are automating things on their own and selecting their own technologies to do so.
Taken together, this means companies are creating expensive, disconnected environments that prevent them from capitalizing on the investments made in one automation effort with the next automation effort, as well as the next and the next. At the same time, no one wants to slow down. In fact, as part of Gartner’s research, they found that most companies have initiated between four and ten concurrent automation projects in the last twelve months alone.
This isn’t uncommon. In fact, history has shown that in every fast-growing market, a buildup of disconnected projects occurs. Then, a focus on management and cost reduction sets in to handle the chaos that’s been created, followed closely by a focus on efficiency and optimization.
In my view, what’s different in the hyperautomation space is the level of maturity in existing products and intelligence with AI.
Even as the market has innovated rapidly over the last few years, there are some mature, established vendors in the space.
What does this mean for companies looking to accelerate their hyperautomation strategies? Essentially, it means companies no longer have to create a disconnected environment as a first step or wait for existing products to mature to include management, maintenance, and governance – some already have those things built in today. These mature products have already invested in management, governance, and collaboration, providing the necessary foundation to avoid costly rework and internal consolidation that otherwise will follow.
Returning to Gartner’s predictions, another important point to unpack is the focus on cost and pricing.
Some vendors in the market with relatively new and limited capabilities will claim that anything can be automated with their solutions. While that’s not entirely untrue, the key is to understand both how far those solutions can go and how mature they are for specific use cases. Many solutions on the market will wire various technical elements together – for example Integration + Kafka + RPA – and claim that you can automate anything with them.
In truth, much of the complexity of a great automation product is the ability to not just run a process, but to handle the rules, the variations in the process, the ability to find gaps in the process, and the ability to predict where problems will arise as the processes run. So much of the cost variance we see in the market today is directly related to product function and maturity.
Finally, let’s take a look at the last prediction: the rise in managed hyperautomation services. This prediction centers around the issue of IT being able to provide service quickly enough, as well as the solution itself being able to scale to meet the need in question. Many companies make the mistake of focusing on the wrong things, such as adding new client interaction types or aggregating lots of data to do things like next best action. Those things can be powerful, but being able to focus on the customer, rather than on maintaining your technology, is the true differentiator managed services provide. Managed services give companies the opportunity to focus on improving their relationships with customers and optimizing interactions and processes, rather than how they run and maintain their software. More importantly, when companies do realize their vision of optimized service (which comes with much higher process interaction via mobile apps, chatbots, and all of their other purchases and service channels), they can be assured their systems won’t crash from the weight of all the increased activity.
As you read through Gartner’s 2022 predictions, think through what you need to automate, and how the trends mentioned above might affect your business. And if you have questions along the way, I’m happy to chat – feel free to send me a message on LinkedIn. In the meantime, get automating!
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