The Fear of Missing Out: How to Get the Most Out of Inter- and Intra-Organization Automation


In the span of this decade alone, we have witnessed an acceleration of the pace of technology change unprecedented in both the business-to-consumer market and the business-to-business market. Social, mobile, analytics, cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), robotics and cognitive computing have come together to pervade our lives and the products we use. Prognostications about what this rapid technology growth means to the human workforce can be heard from every direction. In attempts to foretell the future, a plethora of books and articles have been written with perspectives ranging from “there is nothing to see here” all the way to “the sky is falling. We are doomed!” The one thing we know to be certain is that the future is uncertain.

Leaders charged with ensuring deployment of leading-yet-responsible tools, technologies and best practices cannot afford to be left behind. How do you know which choices will expose or restrict your organization? And how do you know which will catapult it into the future? Ten years ago, organizations were building infrastructure and risk-and-control measures to address the “bring your own device” practice driven by the penetration of Blackberry devices. Today, such thinking would be considered grossly outdated.

So how can forward-thinking organizations prepare for a future of automation and uncertainty? How do leading organizations “future proof” managed service agreements? How do they prepare long-term agreements that will protect them from the yet-unknown effects of digital?

The managed services market continues to evolve. What began as a search for the simple benefits of labor arbitrage became a desire for process excellence and lean efficiencies and has continued to evolve with the help of technology to drastically improve end-to-end process outcomes as found in many business process-as-a-service (BPaaS) solutions today. And, now, digital capabilities, analytics and automation are ushering in another phase. As this new era dawns, many business leaders are asking “What am I missing?”

This ISG white paper offers some important guiding principles to help organizations considering automation as a part of their managed services agreements.

About the author

Michael Fullwood is an ISG Partner with extensive financial planning and analysis experience. His areas of expertise include sourcing assessment and RFP management, contract negotiations and transitions. He has guided major multinational companies in the Americas and Europe through multi-functional outsourcing projects and shared services transformation. Michael has more than 20 years of experience advising clients on strategy and implementation and is an accomplished leader who articulates a compelling point of view for ROI optimization and speed to value. His work enables companies to optimize support services operations, contract for and implement digital/automation, and formalize processes, metrics, governance and reporting.