Executive Report

Smart Service Automation: Benefits, Cases, and Lessons

Posted April 18, 2017 in Business Technology & Digital Transformation Strategies, Data Analytics & Digital Technologies
Figure A2 — RPA software as “noninvasive.”

With the introduction of robotic process automation (RPA) and cognitive automation (CA) tools, potential adopters of these new types of service automation tools remain skeptical about the claims surrounding their promised business value. Potential adopters want to know why organizations are adopting service auto­mation, what outcomes they are achieving, and what are the practices that lead to achieving multiple business benefits. To answer these questions, we conducted two surveys of 143 outsourcing professionals along with interviews of 48 people, including service automation adopters, providers, and advisors. From the inter­views, we identified 20 adoption journeys. This Executive Report documents the RPA “triple win” — for shareholders, customers, and employees — emerging from the successful organizations we researched. We also detail eight RPA and CA adoption cases to show how automation was carried out, and the multiple emerging benefits. Finally, we outline 20 action principles, which other organizations can enact, to deliver such outcomes.

About The Author
Mary Lacity
Mary C. Lacity is the Curators' Professor of Information Systems at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a Visiting Scholar at MIT CISR (Center for Information Systems Research). Dr. Lacity has also held visiting positions at the London School of Economics, Washington University, and Oxford University. She is also a Certified Outsourcing Professional, coeditor of the Palgrave Series: Work, Technology, and Globalization, and Senior Editor of … Read More
Leslie Willcocks
Leslie P. Willcocks has an international reputation for his work on global management, outsourcing, e-business, information management, IT evaluation, strategic IT, and organizational change. He is a Professor of Technology Work and Globalization in the Department of Management at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Dr. Willcocks also heads LSE's Outsourcing Unit Research Centre. For the past 25 years, he has served as… Read More
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