• Corporates call on consultants for AI developments

• Improving process efficiency, better customer engagement and the development of new products the three key reasons for deployment of AI.

A new report finds today the vast majority of U.S. corporates (80 per cent) have started investing time and money into robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI), with a staggering 81 per cent saying they will turn to consultants to help develop these new technologies.

The report by Source Global Research, the leading research and strategy firm for the global management consulting industry, is based on a survey[1] of U.S. corporates, two thirds of which employed over 5,000 people.

The reasons why corporates are deploying RPA/AI included improving process efficiency (60 per cent), better customer engagement (57 per cent) and to develop new products (48 per cent).

The Source report says that corporates are most likely to use consulting advice around how best to take advantage of these technologies at a strategic level – with two thirds (64 per cent) saying this will be the case.

Fiona Czerniawska from Source Global Research, said:

“Corporates are still in planning mode, so the challenge for consulting firms is to ensure that the practical applications of RPA and AI outside the technology function are recognised right across the board. All the money that’s clearly going into thought leadership on this subject will have been well-spent if it achieves this objective.”

Jonatan Matsson, a Partner at A.T. Kearney added:

“From an AI perspective, what we’ve seen today is that clients need advice to understand the technology and its potential implications on their business models: What approach should they take; should they invest in pilots; what are the threats and what are the opportunities? For the moment, it’s less about implementation in this space.”

When it comes to the type of consulting firms corporates will turn to for support, the Source report found that technology firms are leading the way – with a quarter (26 per cent) of corporates expecting to use a technology firm. This compares with 16 per cent choosing a Big Four firm, and 17 per cent that would use a strategy firm.

Mike Hobday, Vice President, Cognitive Process Transformation Practise Leader for IBM concluded:

“Once AI starts branching out across a client organisation, you suddenly have a whole new set of challenges to face. Do your chatbots have the same voice across departments and sub-brands? Does the bot respond differently depending on whether it’s talking to a customer or an employee? Who will maintain the corpus of knowledge and do you centralise it or does each division manage its own? We’re starting to see requests around figuring those big questions out.”

For more information on Source reports contact alice.noyelle@sourceglobalresearch.com or telephone +44 (0)20 3795 2668/ visit www.sourceglobalresearch.com.

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