Scaling the summit - Transforming enterprises with an intelligent automation Center of Excellence

In the last couple of decades, CIOs have focused budgets and resources on digital transformation. They started with enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions in the early 2000s, followed by cloud technology and point automation solutions to cut costs and become more agile, scalable, and competitive.

Today, technology is at the core of every business. CIOs are resultingly being tasked to drive more and more fundamental, enterprise-wide transformation. This has sparked investments in areas such as data management solutions, cloud-based solutions as-a-service, low-code/no-code workflows, machine learning algorithms, and, most recently, generative AI (genAI) and large language models (LLMs)

Worldwide spending on AI in 2023 was $166 billion, and even with resource and skills limitations and anticipated shortcomings in AI-technology, such as issues related to networking, security, hardware, and data, spending is expected to nearly triple by 2027 to reach $423 billion. The genAI market is forecast to be even more explosive — with predicted growth from $40 billion in 2022 to $1.3 trillion over the next ten years.

This raises a twofold problem:

  • What is the broader and optimum technology investment strategy?
  • How can CIOs scale enterprise transformation with speed, and agility? While the first problem is relatively easier to answer, the second one is where many CIOs struggle.

This article explores the possibilities for CIOs to reimagine a holistic approach to enterprise-wide transformation that is highly scalable, repeatable, and predictable with significant business outcomes. Implementing a framework for an intelligent automation Center of Excellence (CoE) is most likely the best option for CIOs.

Organizations have already begun investing in intelligent automation Centers of Excellence (IA CoEs). According to FMI, the global investment in this area in 2019 was $82.3 million. By the end of 2023, that number had risen to $400 million, and it’s expected to grow 41.4% by 2034 to $13.3 billion to support rapid digital transformation and the consequent burden on organizational resources.

Pioneering CIOs are already reevaluating their technology strategy. The IDC predicts that by the end of 2025, the Global 2000 (G2000) will allocate 40% of its core IT budget to AI initiatives, “leading to a double-digit increase in the rate of product and process innovations.”

Chapter I: Market trends and forces surrounding intelligent automation

IA represents the confluence of various advanced technologies such as genAI, machine learning algorithms, intelligent document processing (IDP), cloud-based as-a-service solutions, low-code/no-code workflows, and various data assets. These components together form a powerhouse that drives down cost, enhances decision making, and most importantly helps power growth.

At enterprise level the significance of IA is found in more than just its direct benefits – it also helps fuel innovation by empowering an organization’s taskforce to think differently and be part of the transformation journey as active members.

Generative AI’s role in enhancing the IA powerhouse

GenAI enables systems to generate novel responses, decisions, and data interpretations, simulating human-like creativity and decision-making. This allows systems to adapt to new data, develop unique solutions, and provide predictive insights.

IA streamlines operations, reduces errors, improves user experience and ultimately helps slash operational costs while fostering innovation. By automating routine and complex tasks, businesses can redirect human resources to strategic initiatives, promoting creativity and competitive advantage.

Chapter II: The pivotal role of a Center of Excellence

To ensure the full potential IA can offer, establishing an IA CoE is crucial. The foundation for a CoE is not only right technology ecosystem, but a complementary competency ecosystem as well that helps drive innovation and transformation at scale. However, the biggest question in any CIO’s mind would be setting this up in house versus finding a partner as both approaches have their own pros and cons. The best option is to find the right blend.

At EXL, we have been able to solve this dilemma for multiple companies. With extensive IA knowledge and industry expertise, we can efficiently establish an IA CoE aligned with your strategic goals and operational frameworks.

Our offerings include:

Implementing the right technology

Our tech landscape is a combination of cloud solutions, data management, business solutions including low-code/no-code capabilities and workflow automation, customer engagement, and generative AI. We leverage our relationships with leading technology providers for cost-effective, best-in-class solutions.

The right skillsets

Our 8,300+ data and digital professionals, combined with over 2,000 professionals across competencies such as business analysts, program management, change management, and others, can handle the heavy lifting, allowing your core team to focus on day-to-day operations.

Access to talent

We provide access to local and global labor pools to optimize investment and engagement

Global results


increase in business process efficiencies with genAI-powered digital solutions


improvement in data driven decision making


assurance of customer and provider interaction with improved CX

Fortune 50 pharma company: Speed and efficiency at scale

Over the course of an over ten-year relationship with the client, EXL has pivoted from a basic automation partner to a full-blown IA CoE partner for the client. EXL has been constantly augmenting the client’s IA CoE capability by introducing evolving technology and providing the right competencies that created a perfect ecosystem to thrive innovation.

Today, we are not only helping the client with point automations. We have instituted an ecosystem powered by generative AI automations, cutting-edge data and analytics, web application development and many more, all supported by EXL’s foundational frameworks around DevOps, machine learning operations, and genAI operations.


Intelligent automation holds transformative potential to revolutionize how businesses operate, delivering unprecedented efficiency and innovation. In strategic implementations, IA represents a foundational technology that enables further digital transformation and business model innovation.

Establishing a Center of Excellence is pivotal for successfully harnessing IA’s full potential across the enterprise. A CoE cements IA at the core of operations, setting standards, best practices, and governance models that ensure consistency, quality, and a culture of constant innovation.

Partnering with EXL provides the strategic advantage to guide enterprises through the complex journey of implementing and scaling a successful IA CoE. With extensive industry expertise, cutting-edge offerings spanning various technologies - cloud, data management, generative AI, CX, business solutions and over 8,000 digital professionals and more than 2,000 professionals across various competencies. EXL solves the resource constraints that can impede such transformative initiatives.

Engage with EXL today to begin your intelligent automation journey and leverage the full spectrum of competitive benefits a CoE can offer. Drive sustainable growth, unlock new opportunities, and gain a formidable edge in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Written by:

Santanu Chakraborty
Senior AVP, Digital Transformation