process mining report

Why the sudden interest in Process & Task Mining?

This week we finalized a new market landscape report on Process & Task Mining (PTM), and though that is now on the way to our clients, I thought I would share some thoughts on why there is so much interest in the PTM space right now. BTW the report will become publically available at a later date…

PTM technologies have exploded on the scene in two short years, grabbing the headlines through SAP, paying a whopping $1.2B for Signavio in January this year, and Celonis raising a similar total of $1B in funding by June this year. Such huge valuations bring with them huge expectations and responsibilities, and beg the question why? In our analysis, these valuations are high and optimistic, but there is good reason to expect this market to continue to grow in the coming years. 

Driven largely by the rise in popularity and similarly huge valuations of RPA (Robotic Process Automation), there is the impression that PTM and RPA technologies are tied at the hip. Indeed, RPA projects are likely to be far more successful if the business analysts involved in those projects make use of PTM tools. But that is only part of a much more complex story. The current interest and enthusiasm for PTM technologies: 

A: Show the limitations of RPA and indeed process projects in general.

B: Places a spotlight on the critical role that business analysts should be playing

C: Illustrates how business applications and networks have, over time, become black boxes

In a sense, then, Process Mining tools can show us the symptoms of a problem, where there are bottlenecks, inefficiencies, etc. Task Mining tools, in contrast, often show us the causes of those problems. BTW in our analysis, Task Mining tools, though currently in the shadow of larger Process Mining technologies hold as much if not more value in the enterprise. Though different technologies, Process and Task Mining tools work hand in hand. Even so, without skilled business analysts to make use of them, they bring little value. Just as RPA is not the magic bullet it was purported to be, nor are PTM tools, but they do hold promise and, in the right hands, can bring clarity to otherwise impenetrable operating environments. 

From a Deep Analysis perspective, we are both fascinated and wary of this market. Firstly, we question whether it is a standalone market in its own right, as analysts are all too quick to slice and dice technologies into overly defined silos. Secondly, for PTM tools to gain the traction they deserve, there will need to be much more effort than there is today in recruiting and boosting the roles of business and process analysts. That said, the improved usability and extensive use of AI & ML in modern PTM tools alongside the entrance of innovative startups such as FortressIQ, Minit, MyInvenio (now IBM), and UltimateSuite, are grounds for optimism. 

When analyzing any emerging market, it is essential not to just look at the numbers. That’s particularly the case here, as the PTM market is, by tech standards, small. Deep Analysis first considered researching and writing this report two years ago but decided against doing so, as quite frankly, it was not commercially viable at the time. Yet despite its small size, PTM is rapidly becoming one of the most exciting and transformative markets in the tech sector.

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