Enterprises that are truly capitalizing on intelligent automation (IA) solutions are—in some cases—achieving ROI of 200% or more, and the impact of IA on reducing jobs is highly exaggerated, so enterprises should not view IA’s primary benefit as being headcount reduction. These and other insights in research from Everest Group indicate that enterprises have generated the most cost benefits from IA via additional capacity created by productivity improvements and with minimal layoffs. Everest Group reports that the key drivers for IA adoption continue to be operational effectiveness and enhanced employee and customer satisfaction.

IA refers to solutions that combine robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) to automate processes.

“Enterprises that are leading the way in adopting intelligent automation have important lessons to share with those that aspire to capitalize on IA solutions,” said Michel Janssen, chief research guru for Everest Group. “These companies are achieving operational improvements and significant costs savings, with ROIs of about 200%. But, more than that, 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. We’ve explored in great detail not only how these companies are leveraging IA technology but also what implementation strategies are helping them achieve success far beyond their peers.”

These lessons are shared in a new Everest Group report—Enterprise Intelligent Automation Adoption Maturity–Pinnacle Model Analysis—which explores the journeys of companies achieving exceptional results through IA adoption. The report provides insights into the key enablers needed to achieve desired outcomes and points to the investments required for the greatest speed to impact.

“This is the second time we have done this study, and it is amazing how far organizations have come in the past 18 months in terms of building out capability and achieving outcomes,” said Amar Modi, practice director for Service Optimization Technologies at Everest Group. “The average scale of IA deployments has increased threefold over those past 18 months.”

After surveying enterprises about their adoption of intelligent automation, Everest Group identified eight Pinnacle Enterprises™—organizations distinguished by their advanced intelligent automation capabilities and their superior outcomes. Pinnacle Enterprises significantly exceed other enterprises across three key impact areas:

  • Cost impact: On average, Pinnacle Enterprises generated approximately 1.4X return on investment (ROI) and cost savings and broke even faster than other enterprises. The Pinnacle Enterprises have reported over 60% cost savings through IA initiatives with about 50% saving more than US $50 million.
  • Operational impact: On average, Pinnacle Enterprises reported 67% improvement in operational metrics, compared to 48% improvement reported by other enterprises.
  • Business impact: Pinnacle Enterprises experienced 1.7x impact in strategic areas—such as top line, time-to-market, customer and employee experience, and new business models—compared to other enterprises.

Siemens is one of the companies profiled as an Intelligent Automation Pinnacle Enterprise. Through the systematic exploitation of technologies such as RPA, AI, business process management (BPM), advanced data analytics and IoT, Siemens has achieved superior business results, including the following:

  • More than 450 IA use cases successfully deployed, resulting in 650,000 automated hours per annum.
  • Up to 40% cycle time reduction by implementing BPM use cases along end-to-end business processes.
  • IoT, data analytics and RPA combined to lift Industry 4.0 automation to the next level (for example, predictive machine maintenance).
  • Digital Companions successfully introduced across multiple functions, handling up to 30% of customer queries fully automatically while improving the customer experience measurably.

“Siemens is honored to be named by Everest Group as a Pinnacle Enterprise in Intelligent Automation,” said Hannes Apitzsch, CEO of Global Business Services, Siemens AG. “This recognition acknowledges the success of our systematic approach at Siemens Global Business Services to leveraging digitalization forces across the globe. We not only have built a mature, solid architecture and ecosystem for advanced technologies, but also have established a strong, inclusive innovation culture. All of those elements are required to succeed with IA, and Siemens is certainly reaping the tangible rewards of the collaborative digital transformation efforts of our global team.”

Based on the best practices of Pinnacle Enterprises including Siemens, Everest Group shares in its report more than a dozen ways enterprises can accelerate their intelligent automation adoption journey and also provides assessments organizations can use to compare their capabilities and investment priorities with those of Pinnacle Enterprises.