IT leaders report a significant impact to customer value, employees’ well-being, and enterprises’ return on AI investments
The economy may have had a downward impact on enterprise investments, but these increased exponentially when implementing AI, according to 82% of IT executives taking part in the latest State of Intelligent Automation Report: Impact of the Economy on AI Priorities, commissioned by ABBYY.
Respondents from the US, UK, Germany, and France attributed an increase in higher value work (60%), happiness (62%), and employee innovation (59%), noting that intelligent automation freed them from many routine and mundane tasks to focus more on customer and revenue-driven initiatives.
Nearly half of respondents (49%) reported an increase in staff retention levels since introducing intelligent automation, which is significant in the era of “silent quitting.” They also stated that improvements in employee efficiency (52%) and productivity (48%) were among the top benefits to the organization, as well as the benefit to employees, with almost a third (32%) globally stating there was better work-life balance. The US led in the reduction of work stress (41%), followed by the UK (38%).
“IT executives are gaining powerful value from their AI investments,” stated Gabrielle Lukianchuk, Chief Marketing Officer, at ABBYY. “Notably, more than half of the leaders surveyed stated higher quality products and projects, along with faster delivery of their products to customers. More than a third reported improved customer service outcomes. It’s no surprise they achieved twice the ROI by leveraging AI in their intelligent automation initiatives to accelerate the improvement of complex processes and putting data to work.”
Greater ROI, greater investment
Almost half (47%) of enterprise executives saw a 2x return on their AI investments in 2023, up from 43% in 2022. Additionally, 82% said their AI budgets increased this year and 48% plan to invest more, despite reductions in costs in other parts of the organization.
The survey also revealed that mid to large enterprises are placing the greatest investments in AI to enable intelligent automation. Increased investments of up to 35% by emerging enterprises indicates growing recognition that AI is leveling the playing field and required for a competitive advantage.
As AI adoption becomes more widespread with the use of large language models such as generative AI, 89% of IT executives responded that they have AI strategies in place. 37% have compressed their roadmaps into three-to-five-year plans, noting revenue-impacting processes as top priorities including operations, marketing, product development, sales (as it relates to customer experience), and logistics services.
More details about AI investments, ROI expected and achieved, budget priorities, technologies and processes used, benefits gained, and employees’ mindsets can be viewed by downloading State of Intelligent Automation: Impact of the Economy on AI Priorities.
Notes to Editors
This research was conducted by Sapio Research in July 2023 on behalf of ABBYY. 1000 IT decision makers from 17 industries including financial services, healthcare, transportation/logistics/supply chain, insurance, retail, government/public sector, and healthcare were surveyed across the US, UK, Germany, and France to understand how the current global economic stagnation is impacting investments in intelligent automation. The survey also looked at what technologies, if any, organizations plan to adopt in the near future.
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