Highlight Report

Cutover aims to orchestrate and automate the digital workforce

July 8, 2021

Against the background of the hype around Intelligent Automation, Cutover is operationalizing the application lifecycle whilst blending the human and machine activities of delivering those applications.

It is doing it by delivering on a highly differentiated value proposition: A SaaS platform that provides workforce orchestration and management controls for critical and complex enterprise IT change events.

For scenarios such as DevOps, Cutover is blending the interaction of human and digital workers, underpinned by real-time data, allowing organizations to react to critical changes in their application and process environment.

Cutover stands out with a differentiated automation approach

We first spoke to the team at Cutover back in 2016. Back then the value proposition was still fairly raw, but what stood out for us was the intent to optimize the intersection of manual work and Intelligent Automation. The way we described their strategic goal at the time was to provide executive stakeholders with a single-pane-of-glass view of the truth that enables prioritization, matching of demand and supply, and minimization of risk.

Fast forward to 2021, and Cutover’s progress can be measured by gaining significant funding as well as building out succinct use cases that bring their differentiated value proposition to life.

In March 2021 Cutover secured $35m in Series B funding, raising the total investment to $54m. The funding validates Cutover’s initial focus on application lifecycle management and targeting financial services, before expanding to other segments.

For large technology functions focusing on change initiatives such as application release, the platform is offering:

  • Observability: Provide visibility of the forward view of change; identify and eliminate risks; enhance decision making; gain live observability via dashboards and systems of record for continuous improvement
  • Automation: Build automated runbooks with dependencies, user assignments, and timings
  • Orchestration: Collaborate and stay on track with progress updates and automated communications

Exhibit 1 provides more details on the various use cases and how the platform approach is crystalizing Cutover’s approach to work orchestration and observability.

Exhibit 1: Cutover’s supported use case and operations capabilities

Source: Cutover, 2021

Cutover has expanded the use cases to broader technology delivery and release support. For instance, given its entrenchment in financial services, it is defining, automating, and evolving operational resilience practices. This includes resilience testing, building power-downs and automating the responses to production failovers. The same approach can be applied to data center and cloud migrations indicating the significant market opportunity for Cutover.

Cutover orchestrates the workforce that is driving complex change programs which is leveraging cloud, automation and AI

It is not easy to pigeonhole Cutover. The company is leveraging the attention and growth of the Observability space. It was toying with the notion of ‘work orchestration observability’. If anything, in our view Cutover is at the vanguard of IT Operations as it blends the insights gleaned from logs, metrics, traces, and dependency maps with automating actions, by building complex runbooks. It is here that the deep investments in the Observability space are happening – as can be seen with IBM’s acquisitions of Instana and Turbonomic. They enhance those capabilities by providing expansive collaboration and communication tools.

Despite a solid automation pedigree, Cutover focus more on the management of operations

To some degree, it is surprising that Cutover is underplaying the automation credentials that are evident in the complex runbooks they build. Instead they emphasize the orchestration of human and machine interaction with the intent to eliminate gaps in that collaboration. In this, they stand out from the crowded automation space.

They also place a strong focus on the visualization of complex workstreams. Intuitive dashboards and node maps depict the flow of work as a networked set of processes. The node map helps executives to identify parallel tasks and dependencies, manage the critical path, and stay on schedule.

There are some similarities with providers like Enate and ActiveOps on the business side. However, Cutover is not only addressing a higher complexity of events and processes such as DevOps and Cloud Native, but also providing actions on all the information it is providing to customers. Conceivably, its approach could be extended to more business-centric scenarios, giving Cutover real potential to operationalize the OneOffice.

The Bottom line: By focusing more on outcomes than capabilities Cutover has a good chance to stand out in the crowded Observability space

Meeting executives from Cutover, what stands out is that they are culturally committed to staying clear of the hype so prevalent in the automation and AI space. Yet Cutover has made solid progress which can be seen in their funding but also in mature go-to-market partnerships with Deloitte and Accenture. By blending insights and actions it stands out in a rapidly consolidating AIOps and Observability space. To gain broader market recognition it should double down on building more outcome-centric narratives, not least about how it can manage processes across the enterprise.

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