HomeAutomation and Robotics

Using intelligent automation to transform the way humans and technology interact

Companies must train employees to work with machines in new ways and redesign operations to optimize for automation.

Download the report

Intelligent automation is dramatically changing the way businesses operate—and the way humans collaborate with technology. It is helping organizations create new personalized products and services, improve operations, reduce costs, and elevate efficiency.

Coupled with the greater Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem, intelligent machines can even learn from other connected devices to cyclically improve their actions.

The results of a recent IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) study show that intelligent automation is moving toward the mainstream, and that executives are recognizing its potential to provide ongoing value. Seventy-six percent of respondents agree that increasing automation will have a positive impact on operational efficiency.

Appreciation for intelligent automation includes its convenience: over half of operations executives anticipate that natural language processing will allow human-to-device and device-to-human understanding. What’s more, many executives expect to rapidly improve their organizations’ intelligent automation capabilities—and to realize substantial business value—in the near future. In fact, 75 percent indicate intelligent machines will have a meaningful impact on their business performance within the next three years.

But realizing the value of this transformation for digital operations requires more than technology investment. Companies must train employees to work with machines in new ways and redesign operations to optimize for automation. Some industries are highly advanced in their use of intelligent automation. In other industries, adoption is more tenuous.

But staying competitive in the cognitive era demands an effective use of intelligent automation. So where should organizations start? Adopting this set of technologies requires a forward-looking approach to investment and implementation, careful organizational planning, and a commitment to training and development.

This report explores how far along organizations are in deploying intelligent automation and in developing plans and strategies for its adoption, and provides concrete recommendations for moving forward.

Bookmark this report  

Meet the authors

Grace Ho

Connect with author:

, Senior Partner

Karen Butner, IBV Global Research Leader for digital operations, supply chain management, and intelligent automation

You might also like

Learn why organizations expect edge computing to improve operational responsiveness – and reduce operating costs.


Intelligent manufacturing is created with automation, AI, IoT, edge computing, cloud, 5G, additive manufacturing, and digital twins. It can improve defect detection, yields, and revenue.


If they can rethink their business models, banks across India are uniquely positioned for success in the age of cross-industry platforms and ecosystems.


5G, edge computing, and AI are expected to enable new use cases in vertical industries and accelerate Industry 4.0 adoption.


The goal of production optimization for oil and gas is to protect the subsurface potential by reducing constraints in surface facilities.


Learn what executives say about AI ethics: what factors are most important, who is responsible, and how ethical AI can benefit society