Accenture’s recent intelligent operations research highlights an important trend: the growing acknowledgement that artificial intelligence will have a major impact on companies’ business. Nearly 90 percent of executives in our research believe the application of automation, analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI) will be critical to business and process transformation. Furthermore, just over 60 percent said the application of automation and AI to business processes will be important to achieving their business goals.

Yet despite acknowledging AI’s significant promise, most organizations to date haven’t fully benefited from the technology—largely because they have a far too narrow view of it and what it can do.

Many companies equate AI with traditional automation or Robotic Process Automation (RPA), which they’re using to achieve incremental performance improvements—typically, headcount or cost reduction. In fact, according to Accenture’s Process Reimagined research, while many companies are employing some degree of automation, only 9 percent are using the full force of AI. At one level, that’s understandable. Business leaders are challenged to reduce costs, and that’s the easiest benefit to quantify and measure. They often struggle to believe that other value levers can have a big, quantifiable impact.

By Chung-Sheng Li

Global Research Artificial Intelligence Lead – Accenture Operations

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