Looking to compare all different types of automation? Now you can

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Video: Moving customers to the center is the key to digital transformation

However, until now, there was no unifying taxonomy to vet different types of automation. What offers a better business case: descriptive or streaming analytics? Could the same deterministic engine apply to both configuration management and continuous delivery? How does one compare the societal impact of chatbots to driverless cars?

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To address this, Forrester created the first comprehensive framework to compare all types of automation. Nine dimensions prove critical: 1. Process (data acquisition, comprehension, and determinism); 2. Enterprise (robotics quotient, business case viability, and governance/auditability); and 3. People (human-machine interaction, human effect, and future-of-work effect):

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We then compared over 60 different types of automation over eight categories: Engagement, sales, marketing, decision, process, industrial, infrastructure, and development:

Also: The 5 biggest challenges to digital transformation TechRepublic

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In doing so, we were able to compare all automation at a fine-grained level. Take chatbots and configuration management, for example.

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Chatbots take in unstructured data and use a mix of coded/deterministic and learning/nondeterministic behaviors to process it. Your employees require a low degree of robotics quotient (RQ) to engage with them. The business case viability is average, and chatbot behaviors are sometimes slightly opaque to govern/audit. Finally, the people effect is evident, with a high degree of human-machine interaction required and a moderate impact on the future of work:

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Configuration management is entirely different. Its processes are almost entirely mechanical, requiring coded, structured data processed with a high degree of determinism. From an enterprise perspective, the technology requires a relatively low RQ to operate and is transparent to audit. Finally, the human impact is minor. Most of the action is on the back end, the social impact is narrow, and the role of the worker stays relatively focused on the individual:

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Using the framework, you can rationalize your automation portfolio and create a new operating model around automation.

— By Chris Gardner, senior analyst

Automation technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA), and physical robots are reshaping the general workforce. Outcome-driven CIOs will use these technologies to help their company reconfigure its business model and reallocate resources to focus on the customer. Failure to do so will inhibit wide-scale digital transformation and give your competitors an opportunity to move ahead – without you. Watch Forrester’s complimentary on-demand webinar, hosted by J.P. Gownder, to understand how to embrace automation and drive business innovation.

This post originally appeared here.

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