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AI is finding new ways to boost your automation journey


December 1, 2023

Today Generative AI is already acknowledged as a gamechanger: it brings transformation to every work category. According to a recent Accenture study 98% of global executives agree that AI foundation models will play an important role in their organizations’ strategies in the next three to five years. In Business and Financial Operations alone, 45% see a higher potential for automation and 14% see a higher potential for augmentation.

However, Operations leaders are no strangers to the powerful benefits of automation. Indeed, many organizations are fairly mature when it comes to the use of automation across processes such as invoicing, payroll, vendor management or reconciliations and have been using technologies such as workflows, robotic process automation, low-code/no-code and even AI based automation for a few years now. But often, introducing automation in new areas can be met with resistance. Accenture research shows that 71% of operations reinventors—those organizations who are more operationally mature and realize greater value—deploy AI and automation for customer, employee and partner experience management solutions at scale, compared with just 1% of organizations with the least operations maturity.

Operations leaders should use generative AI as an extension of their continually evolving automation. By combining generative AI with existing automation, analytics and AI assets, they can find more value, drive efficiencies and transform the end use experience, faster.

Start fast, fail fast

With generative AI evolving at a rapid pace, it’s important to start quickly, start small and add to core capabilities iteratively as new features present themselves. And it helps to focus on the areas with the biggest benefits. In an Accenture study in the United States, we estimated the impact of generative AI on roles across all company functions. Approximately 24% of all tasks evaluated in the study were determined to have a high potential for transformation with the use of generative AI. Transformation includes augmentation, where generative AI works in conjunction with a human worker to enhance their ability and/or output, and automation, where generative AI can carry out the tasks instead of a human worker.

While corporate functions where processes with the highest potential for transformation using generative AI are IT/Technology, Finance and Sales, we believe that those functions with a high degree of customer interaction and conversational insight-creation, such as Marketing, Sales and Service, are likely to gain the most from generative AI adoption.

For example, a Brazilian retail chain decided to invest in improving its customer experience by introducing personalization to its app, website, media and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) channels, with the aim of creating a 360-degree view of the customer and increasing digital sales. A project like this involves a huge operational effort in scaling and personalizing communications and capturing all client data from physical and digital channels for the CRM, sales and marketing teams.

Generative AI when combined with automation and applied end-to-end across processes will help with efficiency gains across enterprise functions, such as Finance and Human Resources. Infusing generative AI could significantly change how intelligence is consumed in financial planning and analysis or how employee experience is transformed. For industry-specific processes, such as in Banking, Insurance, Health and Life Sciences, there could be a significant improvement with respect to experience and quality, along with improved productivity. Infusing generative AI could be key for industries by offering a strategic advantage—acquiring new customers, shortening the time to market for new products and solutions and higher customer satisfaction for their services.

Get the most from generative AI

Although generative AI is something of a moving target, there are some steps you can take today to drive more value from its adoption:

  • Understand your digital core: The digital core consists of three layers within an organization: an infrastructure and security layer; a data and AI layer; and an applications and platforms layer. Evaluate how automated you are and where you intend to take your automation journey. What’s your access to data and how mature and modernized are your data sources?
  • Seek out high-value opportunities: The impact of generative AI can vary significantly across the value chain and by use case. Do you know the niche use cases where the potential for value creation is the highest?
  • Evaluate your risk appetite for generative AI: Weigh private versus public large language model (LLM) options to balance risk and benefits. Can you identify what is fit-for-purpose while maintaining your desired privacy and IP integrity?

Generative AI has the potential to add multiple layers of value to any organization especially when it comes to improving overall experiences or the quality of service delivered. Strengthening and scaling the organization’s overall digital core to take advantage of the benefits generative AI brings can, in turn, help to drive even higher outcomes—including productivity gains that will help your business drive growth in a disrupted world.


Nirav Sampat

Chief Technology Officer – Operations