AI now a board priority, says Deloitte

Deloitte survey reveals growth in RPA, AI

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Boards need to devote more attention and imagination to the corporate risks, and opportunities, generated by AI and associated technologies, says Deloitte New Zealand partner Grant Frear.

According to Frear, seemingly small decisions about AI uses and applications can have significant consequences for a company’s brand and reputation, revenue and shareholder value.

He is urging boards to “employ their imaginations alongside their hard skills and have candid discussions about the implications and monitoring needs of AI, automation and robotics,” saying they need to “think beyond what is probable and extend themselves and their businesses into what is possible.”

He says boards should be asking creative ‘What ifs?’ “What if our competitors treble their processing speed? What if AI could do that role? What if this impacts on our reputation with employees and customers?”

Frear was commenting on the release of Deloitte’s, global, 2020 Director’s Alert, a survey of some 500 executives across a range of industries, 58 percent of which had started to use robotic process automation and AI at some level in 2019.

“Among those using intelligent automation, 38 percent are in the piloting stage (1 to 10 automations), 12 percent are in the implementation stage (11 to 50 automations), and eight percent are automating at scale (51 or more automations),” Deloitte said. “That eight percent is double the four percent that were scaling in 2018.”

Deloitte identified six characteristics of organisation that were successful in automating at scale.

  • An enterprise-wide strategy for intelligent automation
  • Combined RPA and AI initiatives
  • Supportive IT functions
  • Mature processes with clear definitions and standards
  • A clear understanding of how to capture value
  • Radical simplification of processes driven by a need for cost reduction.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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