Although I’ve spent the majority of my career on the consulting side of the fence I’ve also spent ten years on the client side, in senior IT roles, where I purchased a lot of software. It was in 2006 that software sales people started offering alternatives to the traditional model of licence plus annual maintenance for proprietary software. These sales people were offering SaaS solutions and subscription-based open source software, neither of which I seriously contemplated buying. Given that SaaS and open source software are now an everyday part of the IT landscape - why was I entirely unwilling to consider them a dozen or so years ago? The answer is simple. In neither case did they offer the benefits they do today, and, worse, the people selling them struggled to articulate what the real benefits of their offerings actually were. For the purposes of this post I’ll leave the SaaS model aside to instead focus on open source software.
Robotic process automation (RPA) has been heralded as the next big thing in process management. Google Trends reports show that the last 2 years have seen a peak in interest in these technologies (Figure 1).