Why CIOs should suggest automation technologies to business leaders

Forrester Research’s JP Gownder with Pascal Matzke, Glenn O’Donnell, Srividya Sridharan, Craig Le Clair, Michele Goetz, Chris Gardner, and Michael Glenn say that CIO must evangelize the potential value of automation technologies to the CEO, CMO, CFO, and beyond.

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CIO guide to automation, AICIOs need to make investment in automation technologies pro-actively because business leaders cannot keep up with the innovations here, and therefore have less insight into the potential of automation to upend business models.

Forrester Research predicts that automation technologies will take center stage in CIOs’ digital transformation strategies and budgets in 2018 because automation technologies give enterprises the opportunity to improve their customer experience and operational excellence.

How automation helps efficiency improvement

Forrester Research explained how the deployment of automation technology is assisting CIOs and business leaders to improve efficiency.

One Chinese factory replaced 90 percent of its human workers with robots and achieved 250 percent increase in productivity — while improving quality.

Persado’s marketing technology leverages big data and AI to determine whether specific words and phrases will resonate with prospective customers, conducting large-scale, multifaceted A/B tests to inform these decisions.

When retailer Best Buy first implemented its price match guarantee, customers were pleased — until they experienced the 5-minute wait typically required to approve a price match. Store associates would have to summon a store manager from the back of the store for the manual process, which happened 60 times a day on average.

Reflexis helped Best Buy implement an automated system that approves most price matches with software; managers can respond quickly to exceptions using a mobile device. The new system cut wait times by 80 percent, boosting customer satisfaction.

LoweBot, from hardware store Lowe’s, can engage customers in multiple languages — creating a more personalized experience.

A dairy company eliminated 8 percent of the job positions in one department when it implemented RPA for financial reconciliations.

70 percent of CIO respondents plan to implement AI in the next 12 months. The report did not mention about the possible investment in AI.

CIOs can use process automation software to support digital transformation. RPA has risen to the top of many CIOs’ lists in 2018 because it’s cost-effective and can sit on top of, and interact with, existing legacy software.

CocaCola found that it could serve customers more effectively on a 24×7 basis while also cutting costs by implementing Nuance’s Nina chatbot.

Emagia’s Gia intelligent agent helps CFOs and their teams retrieve and act upon data from complex enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

Starship Technologies’ pilots in North America, Europe, and Australia are proving the potential for e-commerce delivery via dog-sized autonomous robots.

CIOs will consider adding robotic aides to work side-by-side with employees in scenarios like that enabled by Piaggio Fast Forward’s KILO robot, which can carry up to 100 kilograms of materials and follow a human worker around.

Customer service robots help customers by offering directions, answering product questions, or conducting transactions like payments. Savioke’s Botlr, SoftBank’s Pepper, and LoweBot from Lowe’s all target this market.

Kiosks employed by Delta Air Lines, customer self-checkout at Stop & Shop supermarket, or the customer ordering touchscreens at McDonald’s have a longer lineage and are more mature.

CIOs can recommend using robots to provide customer recommendations in retail chains, to run replenishment and restocking efforts, and to relieve humans of repetitive tasks.

Baburajan K