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  1. Hardware
March 26, 2015

The key to a smarter business? Software robots

Software robots drive savings, agility and business insight with knowledge processes.

By Joao Lima

New software "robots" will unlock significant value within the next three-to-five years, according to a Cognizant study published today.

The research, by Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work, urged companies to unlock the value of M2M learning, artificial intelligence and big data to drive savings, agility and business insight with knowledge processes.

The survey found that European and US executives consider their use of process automation to be high already. Respondents said to be in the early stages of process automation, expect significant improvements and benefits over the next few years.

The study revealed that 25% to 40% of workflows that follow rote procedures and manual inputs are currently being automated by financial services, insurance, healthcare, pharmaceutical, retail, hospitality, and the technology sectors.

Nearly one-fifth of those surveyed admitted to have achieved cost savings of greater than 15% from Intelligent Process Automation in the last 12 months.

One-quarter of Health insurers saw at least 15% cost savings year-on-year. Expenditure reduction was achieved through automation of middle-office functions, such as claims coding and processing.

For the banking sector, as much as 10% revenue growth has been registered by nearly half of respondents. 73% expect to see similar growth between 2018 and 2020 driven by process-aligned analytics over the past year

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According to those surveyed, advantages of IPA include faster processing with fewer errors, unlimited scalability, and lower cost of ownership, along with the ability to make more timely business decisions through automation-enabled analytics.

Gajen Kandiah, Executive Vice President, Business Process Services, Cognizant, said: "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,"

"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."

Charles Sutherland, Executive Vice President of Research at HfS Research, said: "Businesses are taking a new approach to their organizational and business process models using automation as a key delivery model to digitize and analyze,"

"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."

More than 500 senior executives across North America (57%) and Europe (43%), representing companies with revenues of $500 million to $3 billion, were polled on an online survey.

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