While enterprises are investing in intelligent automation technologies, the vast majority have significant challenges scaling intelligent automation technologies such as artificial intelligence, advanced analytics, and robotic process automation quickly enough to meet business objectives and reap the financial benefits sought. These are two big takeaways from the report Easing the pressure points: The State of Intelligent Automation, released by KPMG International last week.
Cliff Justice, KPMG principal and U.S. leader of intelligent automation said in a statement that a comprehensive digital transformation strategy should underpin intelligent automation investments across the organization, and if they aren’t these efforts become stuck in pilots and fail to deliver as expected.
The KMPG survey found that investment in intelligent automation is strong with 52% of companies confirming investments of more than $10 million. Both finance and accounting are reaping the biggest investments, currently.
In total, KMPG found only 17% of companies surveyed have scaled their intelligent automation technologies. The most widely piloted technology is robotic process automation with 36% of those surveyed experimenting there. Organizations are having the most success scaling advanced analytics, while robotic process automation is the least scaled.
KMPG’s survey found scale to be the leading barrier to reaping established intelligent automation business objectives. The survey, KPMG believes, uncovered a correlation between scale and financial performance of intelligent automation technologies. The survey found 64% of the top performing companies will successfully scale this year, while 59% of companies seeing a poor financial return on these investments will need another two to five years to scale to their goals.
Other barriers the survey found include uncertainty when it comes to the financial investment needed for success, as well as a lack of clarity when it comes to accountability on intelligent automation efforts. How these technologies affect governance and risk management also proved a common barrier.
No time to lose
In a study released last month, conducted by IDG and LTM Research on behalf of Appian Corporation, only 46% of the 500 IT leaders surveyed said that their organizations have already deployed intelligent automation. Still, a clear majority of those same IT leaders believe that intelligent automation is essential to get right in the near future. Of those surveyed, 86% say intelligent process integration will improve customer experience, 68% say it will lead to improved customer satisfaction, 92% say it will make the employee experience more rewarding, and 69% say it will lead to monetization of new revenue.
Those beliefs could be why IT leaders across North America and Europe say intelligent automation deployment is urgent.
Unfortunately, the Appian survey found what the KMPG International survey found: the majority of organizations don’t believe they can deploy intelligent automation technologies exceptionally well. Only 12% of those surveyed say that their companies can do intelligent automation “really well today.”