Predictions 2020: Automation strike teams and services rise to fend off a paradox

Read the top three predictions for the automation market from Forrester Research analyst Chris Gardner.
Written by Forrester Research, Contributor on

While automation remains a major focus for many organizations, the biggest challenges in deploying automation aren't with the technology itself. According to recent Forrester polling of global data and analytics decision-makers:

  • 25% said their firm lacks an overall vision or strategy for automation.
  • 26% told us they face challenges with culture and change management.
  • 25% believe there are gaps in their organizational structure, alignment, and readiness.

The reasons behind these results are varied. In some cases, islands of automation form, where firms unknowingly use similar types of automation in different parts of the organization. In other cases, the bottoms-up deployment method prevents scale and leads to governance nightmares. And overall, federated operating models are developing too slowly to keep pace with the growth of the technology.

With all these trends continuing next year, we're expecting some pretty dramatic automation-based events to unfold, as well. Some of these trends will impact individual organizational units and toolsets, while others will change the future of work for everyone.

In 2020, expect to see the following:

  1. Automation and the future of work will be discussed at the UN. In 2020, 3.9% of cubicle jobs will be cannibalized, while human-touch jobs, such as nurses, will grow by 0.62%. Tasks ranging from posting account ledgers to calculating HR benefits will be replaced by RPA (robotic process automation). Work that requires intuition, empathy, and mental agility, such as cross-domain knowledge workers, teachers, and explainers, will add 300,000 jobs to the economy.
  2. An automation paradox will rear its ugly head. After years of falling, MTTR (mean time to resolve) incidents will increase. The reason? All the easy tasks have been automated. To counter shrinking knowledge lifecycles and growing L2/L3 service desks, enterprises will try to address this paradox by applying SRE (site reliability engineering) and tackling observability issues with new tools powered by AI.
  3. Automation strike teams will rise. In between traditional IT and domain experts, unique strike teams are coming up in enterprises to address islands of automation. This practice will formalize in 2020. These teams, manned by roles such as robot architects and automation jump-starters, will standardize automation portfolios and accelerate user journey mapping. More importantly, they will form a key part of the purchasing cycle and will become a targeted persona for many automation vendors.

Whether your automation strategy and portfolio need a retune or you're just getting started on your automation plans, it's vitally important to prepare for 2020, because next year will be a transformative year for automation. 

Download Forrester's Predictions 2020 guide to understand the major dynamics that will impact firms next year. 

This post was written by Principal Analyst Chris Gardner and originally appeared here.

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