Press Releases

HfS launches FORA (Future of Operations in the Robotic Age) Council

May 01, 2017

London, May 1st, 2017- HfS Research, The Services Research Company™, today announced the launch of FORA, a select international executive leadership council of key industry stakeholders, focused on the Future of Operations in the Robotic Age.


HfS Research is establishing FORA, a select international executive leadership council of key industry stakeholders, focused on the Future of Operations in the Robotic Age.The quarterly council meetings bring together a unique mix of senior buy-side operations leaders, service provider leadership, expert advisers, and technology developers. Together, their mission to set the agenda for the transition to the Digital OneOffice, and to develop an industry mandate for navigating and managing the creative destruction that looms. These meetings will be held online, in an invite-only setting. Logistical information on the quarterly online meeting will be distributed well in advance to all the council members. Based on the Council's findings for the meeting, HfS will create a quarterly mandate which we publish on our website, listing the council members who participated in the discussion.


Phil Fersht, CEO and Chief Analyst of HfS Research commented: "As new technologies like RPA, machine learning, artificial intelligence, digital labor – are rapidly reshaping the operations landscape, faster than many might wish, we have no choice but to venture outside our comfort zones to survive. Many organizations are left with little choice but to write off expensive legacy systems, obsolete processes and ways of working – these add negative value in the digital workplace and render many companies uncompetitive. Our goal at FORA is simple: We’re bringing together the key stakeholders impacting the future of services and operations to develop our collective learnings and communicate them to industry, using our global HfS platform, with an actionable, measurable focus and mandate.”


Supporting the FORA initiative is the IEEE’s Intelligent Process Automation Standards initiative that will encourage further research and investment, leading to powerful and attractive new service offerings.  But the commercial frameworks needed to encourage and sustain wider deployment of these technologies are lagging, because they fundamentally threaten established models.


Lee Coulter, Chair for the IEEE Working Group on Standards in Intelligent Process Automation added, "No one brings together the key stakeholders in the automation industry as well as HfS and I am very excited, on behalf of the IEEE and the Working Group, to share our experiences developing the emerging standards for automation at the FORA session."


FORA will be chaired for its inaugural year, by Phil Fersht, CEO and Chief Analyst for HfS Research, the first research analyst to introduce the emergence of RPA to the global operations and services industry.


The Five Fundamentals of The Digital OneOffice FORA will address:

  • Fostering genuine Digital Customer, Partner and Employee Engagement
  • Embedding Design Thinking techniques to achieve Continuous Digital Outcomes
  • Building a Scaleable Digital Underbelly that Automates and Digitizes
  • Achieving an Intelligent Digital Support Function without Hierarchies and Silos
  • Establishing Intelligent, Cognitive Processes that promote Predictive Decision Making


Find out more about the FORA Council.  


About HfS Research

HfS Research is The Services Research Company™—the leading analyst authority and global community for business operations and IT services. The firm helps organizations validate and improve their global operations with world-class research, benchmarking and peer networking. HfS Research was named "Independent Analyst Firm of the Year for 2016" by the Institute of Industry Analyst Relations which voted on 170 other leading analysts. HfS Chief Analyst, Phil Fersht, was named Analyst of the Year in 2016 for the third time.

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Thom Erbé
Director of Digital Marketing
HfS Research 
[email protected]