Robots to bring significant value to business, says Cognizant

Software robots will automate more complex business processes and decision making, study shows

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Robots to bring significant value to business, says Cognizant Software robots using intelligent process automation will handle increasingly complex workloads in the next few years, says Cognizant.
By  Mark Sutton Published  March 26, 2015

Software ‘robots' that automate business processes are expected to bring significant value to enterprise within the next three to five years, according to a survey by Cognizant.

The survey showed that increasingly intelligent software robots will use technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data analytics, will be deployed in a number of scenarios across different sectors to automate workflows and enhance decision making.

While the use of software robots is in its early stages, Cognizant said that machine learning and artificial intelligence will allow for the development of ‘knowledge robots' that can mimic human actions across multiple applications. Robots using intelligent process automation (IPA) will deliver faster processing with fewer errors, unlimited scalability, and lower cost of ownership, with decisions based on automation-enabled analytics.

The survey canvassed over 500 business and technology decision makers across sectors including financial services, insurance, healthcare, pharmaceutical, retail, hospitality, and technology. Respondents said that they were automating, on average, 25-40% of their workflow today, mainly to replace manual inputs on rote procedures. Half of the respondents saw automation as significantly improving their business processes within three to five years. About 44% have similarly high expectations for business analytics., while nearly one-fifth reported achieving cost savings of greater than 15% from IPA over the past year.

Health insurers emerged as industry trailblazers, pushing frontiers of cost reduction through automation of middle-office functions, such as claims coding and processing, with over one quarter seeing at least 15% cost savings year-over-year.

In banking, nearly half of those surveyed reported at least 10% revenue growth driven by process-aligned analytics over the past year, and nearly three out of every four banks (73%) expect to see similar growth in the next three to five years.

"The future of process work includes connecting skilled people to increasingly powerful technologies such as autonomic computing-including artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning-that can increase savings, enhance insights, and accelerate business. This shift is playing out in just about every industry," said Gajen Kandiah, executive vice president, Business Process Services, Cognizant. "Our IPA practice applies digital transformation at the process level to help our customers benefit from automation. Our new study findings show that this trend will only accelerate over coming years as business leaders seek agility, better customer understanding, and cost savings."

"Businesses are taking a new approach to their organizational and business process models using automation as a key delivery model to digitize and analyze," said Charles Sutherland, executive vice president of Research at HfS Research who has been closely researching developments in technology and process automation. "By implementing software robots, service providers can ensure that work is done around the clock, eliminate human error, and ensure scalability as they save costs and drive revenue. Process automation also allows clients and service providers to share benefits including enhanced compliance, reduced risk and improved job satisfaction of staff."

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