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ISG "Bot 3.0" study: Nearly half of enterprises with advanced automation capability are exceeding business expectations


ISG "Bot 3.0" study: Nearly half of enterprises with advanced automation capability are exceeding business expectations

82 percent of organizations studied have at least one automated process in production; 18 percent are in proof-of-concept or pilot mode

Three-quarters of organizations studied are focused on automating tasks, rather than roles

PR Newswire

STAMFORD, Conn., July 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Information Services Group (ISG) (NASDAQ:III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm, today released the top-line results of a major study on the state of enterprise automation capability, finding nearly half of organizations at the most advanced level are exceeding their expectations for cost savings, productivity, accuracy, compliance and customer experience.

Selected results of the ISG "Bot 3.0" study were presented last week at the ISG Automation Summit in New York City. The study examined the level of automation capability in enterprises where Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is nearing deployment, or is already deployed, to understand how much business value is being delivered. The study categorized respondents according to the ISG-developed "Bot Framework" methodology, encompassing 30 qualitative and quantitative aspects of automation strategy, organization, best practices, governance and technology.

The study found 18 percent of organizations are just getting started with RPA and are at a "Bot 0" level. The majority of organizations surveyed (58 percent) are at a "Bot 1.0" level, automating some production processes and starting their center of excellence (COE), while 17 percent are at a "Bot 2.0" level, with a high-performing COE, multiple automated processes and cognitive technology experimentation underway. Only seven percent of organizations are at a "Bot 3.0" level, with RPA in multiple functional areas and cognitive solutions in production.

Of the seven percent at the leading edge of RPA, almost half are finding their gains from automation are exceeding expectations.

"We found that as companies grow their automation capability, they get better results," said Stanton Jones, director and principal analyst, ISG. "Companies at a higher Bot level consistently exceed their expected business results across nearly every category."

This was most pronounced for companies at the extreme end of the spectrum. Nearly half (46 percent) of Bot 3.0 companies are exceeding their business expectations, as compared to one-third of Bot 2.0 and 1.0 companies. The study found that, on average, Bot 3.0 companies exceeded, and sometimes doubled, their expectations for cost savings, productivity, accuracy and customer experience as compared to those at lower Bot levels.

Building on the research, Jones and David Baltaxe, chief intelligence officer for Unanimous AI, used Swarm AI® technology to amplify the intelligence of participants at the ISG Automation Summit through a real-time swarm that explored the future of enterprise automation. Participants forecast that over the next three years, productivity improvement and increased speed will be the most important factors when calculating automation ROI. This finding reinforced the ISG study, in which 72 percent of companies with RPA in production indicated they are automating tasks, rather than roles. 

The swarm also found participants believe automation will become a board-level priority by 2019 and that cognitive/AI skills will grow in demand.

"This study represents a new way to measure the state of enterprise automation capability," said Mark Davison, global partner, Robotic Process and Cognitive Automation, ISG. "While RPA is already producing impressive results, there is still significant room for more business value to be derived, as organizations mature their RPA capability and begin to leverage cognitive technologies."

The study also identified the critical success factors for companies that have achieved Bot 3.0 capability: They have established criteria to evaluate automation opportunities, and they know how to combine cognitive with RPA in these workload assessments; they have a well-defined RPA operating model, and they have an automation roadmap, strong executive support, and regularly report on the business results of their automation initiatives.

The ISG Automation Summit combines strategic guidance with practical advice about the promise and perils of automation and digital labor and their implications for the workplace. The next ISG Automation Summit will be held in London September 12 – 13. The event is sponsored by Automation Anywhere, Atos, Blue Prism, HCL, IBM, UiPath and Workfusion. Media partners include CIO Review, Innovation Leadership Forum, Outsourcing Digest and the VR/AR Association. Additional information about the event can be found on the event website.

For more information about the Bot 3.0 research study, contact ISG.

About ISG

ISG (Information Services Group) (NASDAQ:III) is a leading global technology research and advisory firm. A trusted business partner to more than 700 clients, including 75 of the top 100 enterprises in the world, ISG is committed to helping corporations, public sector organizations, and service and technology providers achieve operational excellence and faster growth. The firm specializes in digital transformation services, including automation, cloud and data analytics; sourcing advisory; managed governance and risk services; network carrier services; technology strategy and operations design; change management; market intelligence and technology research and analysis. Founded in 2006, and based in Stamford, Conn., ISG employs more than 1,300 professionals operating in more than 20 countries—a global team known for its innovative thinking, market influence, deep industry and technology expertise, and world-class research and analytical capabilities based on the industry's most comprehensive marketplace data. For more information, visit



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