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Intelligent Automation Status and Objectives – One Year Later


When it comes to Intelligent Automation, separating fact from fiction, and knowing the detailed experiences of your peers is critical to achieving the best possible outcomes.  Fortunately, members of Peeriosity’s Intelligent Automation best practice research community are well positioned to understand and learn from the actual experiences of leading peers.  All within the safety and security of being part of a private professional research network, with access restricted to peer practitioners.

A Peeriosity PeercastTM discussion in our Intelligent Automation research area in late 2018 featured several leading companies, each with significant experience, sharing candidly their experiences in 2018 and their plans for 2019.  The format was identical to a Peercast in late 2017, and the depth of the discussion suggests that member companies are rapidly making progress with both the design and deployment of Intelligent Automation initiatives.  Both discussions are recorded for playback at any time by Peeriosity members. 

iPollingTM Results Review

A supporting Peeriosity poll created using the iPollingTM technology explored the current status regarding the use of RPA/AI technology in Shared Services at member companies.  The results indicate that 39% Intelligent Automation technology is fully operational with dedicated resources and strategy in place, which is a significant increase from 2017 when the response was only 9%.  An additional 39% report that Intelligent Automation technology is being tested and/or implemented now, with resources and strategy under development, which while consistent with results from 2017 of 41%, represents a significant shift since the results suggest that 30% of those companies have successfully joined the group of companies who are fully operational.  Similarly, for companies that are actively investigating, but no major use of resources are as yet taking place, the results were 19% in 2018 and 29% in 2017.  Finally, in 2018 3% indicated they had made little progress or don’t have plans, while in 2017 there were 21% selected these response options.  Here are the details:

iPolling: overall Intelligent Automation Status 2017

iPolling: Intelligent Automation Status 2018

Regarding plans for 2019, 49% of member companies indicate that they will continue on an aggressive implementation path, which is a significant increase from the 24% that selected this option in 2017 with regards to their plans for 2018. Also regarding 2019 plans, 29% expect to take their projects to a fully operational level, which is consistent with 2017 plans for 2018 when 28% made this selection.  Also very similar are the percentages of companies that are beginning to develop and test their strategies, at 19% and 24%, respectively.  A notable difference exists when considering the percentage of companies that don’t anticipate tangible testing or that have no plans, with only 3% indicating this was true for 2019, while when responding in 2017 about plans for 2018, 24% indicated this was true.  Here are the details:

iPolling: plans for 2018 for the use of intelligent automation technology

iPolling: plans for 2019 for the use of intelligent automation technology

Here are a few of the comments from Peeriosity members related to the late 2018 poll:

  • We are continuing to look at automation on a regular basis, but it is not fully operational at this time.
  • We are starting our journey now – We will start with the Finance processes.
  • We have several automation in production using a standard RPA platform. We have started looking into a product called IQ Bot which is from Automation Anywhere. It allows the RPA platform to extract data from structured documents, such as invoices, claim forms, etc., and include that data as a part of the automation. Proof of Concept is in progress this year.
  • We continue to advance with our Blue Prism RPA Software. Our focus in 2019 is to not only automate existing business processes, but re-design processes end to end to allow us to optimize the automation solution.
  • We have our first 6 bots going live at the end of Jan 2019. We will have 4 bots in Supply Chain, 1 in Credit and 1 in Capital. The 2019 Plan will include an aggressive roadmap across Accounting/Finance for those processes that are identified as low-hanging fruit. The speed of the plan will ultimately be dictated by automation and IT funding, resource availability, and software implementation timeline.

Closing Summary

Similar to the hype and buzz that surrounded BPO 20 years ago, today’s Shared Services leaders can’t avoid questions about approaches and strategies related to Intelligent Automation. Being able to filter through the hype and point to specific examples from peers is critical to being able to design an approach that is right for your company.  The good news is that many companies are making rapid progress, and, through active collaboration with peers, they are able to create a design that has a high probability of success, with the ability to fine-tune and adjust quickly as needed to ensure the best possible outcomes. 

What is your company’s overall status for the use of Intelligent Automation in Shared Services?  What do your Intelligent Automation plans look like for 2019?

Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?


“PeercastsTM” are private, professionally facilitated webcasts that feature leading member company experiences on specific topics as a catalyst for broader discussion.  Access is available exclusively to Peeriosity member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from attending or accessing discussion content.  Members can see who is registered to attend in advance, with discussion recordings, supporting polls, and presentation materials online and available whenever convenient for the member.  Using Peeriosity’s integrated email system, Peer MailTM, attendees can easily communicate at any time with other attending peers by selecting them from the list of registered attendees. 

 “iPollingTM” is available exclusively to Peeriosity member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from participating or accessing content. Members have full visibility to all respondents and their comments. Using Peeriosity’s integrated email system, Peer MailTM, members can easily communicate at any time with others who participated in iPolling.

Peeriosity members are invited to log into to join the discussion and connect with Peers.   Membership is for practitioners only, with no consultants or vendors permitted.  To learn more about Peeriosity, click here.

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