The Case for Intelligent Automation

By Pascal Bornet
Senior Advisor, IRPA AI & Member of Forbes Technology Council


Even though Intelligent Automation (IA) emerged less than ten years ago, its potential has already been proven in global companies like JP Morgan, Unilever, and Netflix. IA has the potential to increase an organization’s efficiency by 20–60%. IA’s impact is compelling, targeting both top (e.g., through enhanced customer experience) and bottom lines (e.g., by enabling higher efficiencies).


Business Imperative

Adapting legacy organizations to new digital technologies is difficult for older, more established enterprises. This is most likely due to the cost of change and to the complexity of managing change. For this reason, about half of the S&P 500 is likely to be replaced over the next ten years.

To help our readers rethink their businesses, we present two recent impactful transformation concepts leveraging IA: new digital business building and data ecosystem platforms. In addition, the first companies to adopt IA can generate benefits before their competitors. It provides them with a competitive advantage, resulting in higher market share and in the capacity to save money that can be reinvested in further IA transformations and service innovation. These compelling benefits are available to all organizations across industries and functions. We will be also publishing a compelling library of IA use cases to support this assertion and enable further study in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, if you are looking for help with use cases, you can Ask An Expert.

Benefits to Your Customers

Customers are the primary beneficiaries of IA as they get better services and products at lower prices. Currently, the most representative use cases relate to innovative and customized products and services, and to highly responsive and omnichannel customer services available 24/7. Levers such as self-service platforms, customer data analysis, cognitive agents, and task automation significantly improve the customer experience. Based on our experience, 80% of a customer journey can become digitally touchless and fully omnichannel. As a result, we have seen companies increase customer satisfaction by over 15 percentage points as measured by NPS while reducing the contact center workload by over 50%.

Benefits to Your Employees

IA can also improve the employee experience. IA helps to take away the most mundane work activities, and it helps to augment employee capabilities. As a result, IA improves employee engagement and creates a healthier workplace and work-life balance while boosting employee performance. To support this objective, companies can leverage IA to analyze the work activities performed by their employees and use three levers to improve them. They can either augment (increase the value of work activities delivered by employees), automate or abandon work activities (e.g., inefficient work practices such as abundant emails). We call this approach the “Triple-A artifact”, and we explain how IA powers it. The tools used to implement this approach include value-add AI-based applications, personalized dashboards to monitor healthy work habits, and AI-based coaching assistants.

Benefits to Society

IA has substantial benefits to bring to our society at large, especially in healthcare and education. IA has the potential to save 10+ million lives by avoiding early deaths. It supports clinical trials and disease diagnosis, avoids medical errors, and reduces deaths from preventable causes, especially in developing countries. In addition, IA can avoid $10 trillion of losses every year (e.g., by reducing fraud, errors, and work-related diseases and accidents). These savings could be used to triple global budgets for education, finance the protection of our planet, or eliminate world hunger. IA also helps to dramatically increase the resilience of our financial and health systems to future crises and pandemics.

We plan to publish an extensive library of IA use cases organized by business function and industry,  the largest library of use cases publicly available  with more than 500 AI use cases. In the meantime, if you are looking for help with use cases, you can Ask An Expert.


About Pascal Bornet

Pascal is a global expert, thought leader and pioneer in the field of Intelligent Automation, Artificial Intelligence & Analytics. Formerly Head of AI, Automation & Digital Innovation for McKinsey, Pascal is a senior advisor to IRPA AI, member of the Forbes Technology Council, author of Intelligent Automation: Welcome to the World of Hyperautomation and is recognized as a Top Voice in Tech with over 300,000 online followers.


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