- Organizations that capitalize on intelligent automation (IA) — the combination of "robotic process automation and artificial intelligence to automate processes" — may see an ROI of 200% or more, according to a Feb. 18 report from the Everest Group. It also found the perception that IA reduces jobs is "highly exaggerated," meaning organizations "should not view IA's primary benefit as having headcount reduction."
- The Everest Group identified eight businesses it called Pinnacle Enterprises, or companies "distinguished by their advanced intelligent automation capabilities and their superior outcomes." These organizations generate about 140% ROI and reported more than 60% cost savings. The Pinnacle Enterprises also saw a 67% improvement in operational metrics, as opposed to the 48% improvement other organizations reported. Finally, they experienced business impact as well, with improvement in top line, time-to-market, and customer and employee experience, the report said.
- "Enterprises that are leading the way in adopting intelligent automation have important lessons to share with those that aspire to capitalize on IA solutions," Everest Group Chief Research Guru Michel Janssen said in a media release. "...they are delivering strategic business impact over time, particularly in terms of top-line growth, creation of new business models, and decreasing time-to-market."
Cost savings and ROI appear to make up a few of the potential outcomes of tech adoption. A 2019 Hackett Group report found that HR is able to do more with fewer resources in organizations that leverage automation. The report concluded that "world-class" HR organizations leverage AI and, as a result, have costs that are 20% lower than non-digital organizations and provide required services with 31% fewer employees.
Automation and related technologies are not without controversy, of course. Professors at The Wharton School and ESSEC Business School warned employers that AI presents some problems for HR because it is unable to measure some HR functions and infrequent employee activities because they generate little data, can solicit negative employee reactions and is constrained by ethical and legal considerations.
As the employee experience continues to be a top priority for HR, automation will require greater investment in talent, according to a study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group's BCG GAMMA and BCG Henderson Institute. The study showed that employers who have successfully adopted AI will build internal teams and depend less on outside vendors, import AI talent for leadership roles and upskill their current employees to understand the technology.