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AI and Automation Accelerating Rapid, Large-Scale Business Change Across Multiple Sectors: A Bain & Company and UiPath Survey
October 16, 2023 News


The rapid and large-scale spread of artificial intelligence (AI) technology across sectors, and AI’s far-reaching and growing impact in transforming industries, is highlighted today in a new analysis from Bain & Company and UiPath, a leading enterprise automation software company.

Bain partnered with UiPath (NYSE: PATH) to examine and understand the adoption and impact of AI-powered automation to date, as well as the influence that AI will play in enterprise and market reconfiguration moving forward.

The study’s findings draw from a Bain-led survey of 200 companies, the majority with revenues of $5 billion or more, alongside an extensive series of qualitative interviews with senior executives.

The report finds that while automation has long been a force for improvement and efficiency within organizations, fast-paced deployment of AI is accelerating the scope and scale of business change.

With more than half (53%) of executives surveyed reporting their businesses have already deployed some form of Generative AI, the impact of the technology is underlined by 45% of respondents forecasting that integration of automation and AI tech will catalyze a major transformation in their industry within the next few years. Nearly half (48%) of those surveyed by Bain also said they experienced a higher impact when using AI-intensive solutions such as machine learning and cognitive automation.

A majority of respondents say they are already investing in AI-powered automation, with 70% asserting that AI-driven automation is either “very important” or “critical” in fulfilling their organization’s strategic objectives. 74% anticipate a positive return on investment from their automation endeavours.

“Enterprises have an opportunity with AI-powered automation to infuse a shot of adrenaline into their business roadmaps and reconfigure their goals, regardless of size and scope – if they take a holistic approach and act now,” said Ted Shelton, Bain & Company expert partner in the firm’s Enterprise Technology and Performance Improvement practices.  “Businesses must go beyond deploying this technology and fundamentally rethink and redesign business models to integrate AI and automation seamlessly. The truly future-proofed organizations will be agile, with a fluid culture and design, constantly evolving, and reconfiguring in tandem with technological advancements in AI.”

The survey found that executives are mixed on their views of Generative AI. While nearly half of organizations have adopted some form of GenAI and 44% of respondents stated that GenAI will be transformative, 18% asserted that the technology is overhyped, while another 11% believe GenAI is still undervalued.

Respondents envisage a future where AI enables new product or service offerings (58%), creates avenues for data monetization (52%), allows for heightened personalization in offerings (47%), and even paves the way to tap into previously uncharted markets or customer segments (26%).

“This Bain research shows the acute inflection point business face with AI and automation. The majority of organizations report AI and automation are critical to their business objectives, and most will use AI and automation as a catalyst for generating new revenues and future product offerings,” said Rob Enslin, Co-CEO at UiPath. “UiPath can operationalize the transformative force of AI through automation, seamlessly integrating intelligence into everyday operations, automating all knowledge work, and revolutionizing entire industries with AI at work.”

The Bain survey finds that most organizations have deployed a suite of automation technologies, including AI and Machine Learning (ML) (80%), Robotic Process Automation (RPA) (64%), and Predictive Analytics (69%), with the primary motivation behind adoption being increasing efficiency and productivity (85%). While the majority (69%) report experiencing the efficiency and productivity gains they sought, they also report automation-related benefits including improved accuracy, reduced errors (56%) and increased competitiveness (45%).

“It seems clear that AI-powered automation, including GenAI, will drive a larger wedge between those organizations that have a plan, and those that don’t – amplifying advantage and placing early adopters into stronger positions during the coming market reconfiguration,” Shelton said.

Click here to download a complimentary copy of the State of AI-Powered Automation report.