Executive Summary

The events of the past 12–18 months have accelerated the economy to its digital destiny. Technology (and, more specifically, software) is seen to be an incredible potential source of value. Business leaders are ramping up investments in digital transformation initiatives. As a result, we saw the CEOs of some of the largest organizations announcing major new technology investments for 2021 and beyond. For example, Brian Moynihan (CEO, Bank of America) announced that the bank would be spending $3.5 billion on net-new technology spend in 2021 (as part of a broader total technology budget of $10 billion), and artificial intelligence (AI)-focused investments are integral to it. One of the bank’s most prominent applications of AI is Erica, which is an AI-based virtual financial assistant. Bank of America reported that just in the first three months of 2021, clients interacted with Erica 100 million times, driving increased client engagement, whereas it took 18 months for Erica to reach the first 100 million interactions.

AI initiatives offer more than just cost savings — they help organizations predict and shape future outcomes; allow people to do higher-value work; automate and optimize decisions, processes, and experiences; and reimagine new business models. Automation transforms work and simplifies how businesses operate, while AI accelerates innovation by making every interaction, experience, and process more intelligent. By unifying the two technologies and using machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence to collect and analyze operational data and manage processes, organizations can capture great value. Ultimately, this means increased revenue, improved profit margins, and reduced risks. Advancements in AI have provided further fuel for market advances in automation, enabling commercially viable products and services that can automate a growing number of routine business processes. The rate of innovation is set to accelerate further, and with that comes opportunity to improve productivity and more deeply redefine job roles across the business. AI is becoming ubiquitous across all the functional areas of a business.

IDC conducted research that explored the value and benefits for organizations of using IBM AI-Powered Automation Solutions to support their ongoing business process and transformation efforts. This array of solutions relies on an integrated cloud-agnostic platform for business and IT automation that embraces unstructured data using machine intelligence. The project included seven interviews with organizations that were using the IBM solution set and that had in-depth experience with or knowledge about its benefits and costs.

IDC calculates that based on extensive quantitative and qualitative data derived from these interviews, study participants will realize business value worth an annual average of $15.7 million per organization ($676,961 per 100 employees) by:

  • Providing tools and automated capabilities that help IT management teams be more efficient, thereby allowing them to spend more time on innovation and business-related projects
  • Improving the overall productivity of other IT and business teams including application developers, analytics staff, and business process management staff
  • Strengthening business processes and activities using AI-based automation functionality, resulting in higher gross annual revenue

To read full download the whitepaper:

The Business Value of IBM AI-Powered Automation Solutions

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