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Forrester TEI Reveals Appian's ROI Potential: 4 Key Findings for Process Automation

Elizabeth Bell, Appian
July 6, 2023

Process efficiency might not be flashy, but its impact is substantial. Improving process efficiency—from developing new applications faster to automating manual tasks—can amount to millions in savings.

According to a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study, conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by Appian, a composite organization comprised of interviewees with experience using Appian realized:

  • 95% acceleration in operational processes.

  • Less than six months payback on initial investment.

  • 90% reduction in development time by year three.

How exactly are customers realizing these benefits? Forrester’s study outlined four main ways:

  • Development project labor savings. 

  • Savings on manual effort. 

  • Reduced license and maintenance costs for legacy licenses and applications.

  • Better audit preparation.

Read on for a quick overview of how customers are realizing these benefits with Appian. Or, you can get the full study here: Forrester Total Economic Impact™ of Appian.

4 key findings from the Forrester TEI study of Appian.

During the study, Forrester interviewed four customers and created one composite organization for analysis. They discovered that with Appian’s process automation capabilities, organizations can quickly create intricate, compliant workflows. While these streamlined processes improve operational efficiency and relieve human workers of repetitive work, those aren’t the only benefits. For example, Appian enables organizations to rapidly develop these new and improved processes and lets business users identify process inefficiencies and collaborate with technical teams to resolve them quickly. According to the Forrester study, here’s what you can expect from an Appian investment:

1. Build applications more efficiently.

In the TEI study, Forrester found that with Appian, organizations saw a 40% to 90% reduction in development project length. Forrester spoke with one customer who explained what it was like before Appian: “Outdated technology was impacting our revenue because we were slow to change to market needs and we were so inefficient.”

When a team needs a new software application, they can use Appian’s low-code capabilities to develop it more efficiently—with a smaller team and less expensive employees. And these benefits add up: The composite organization that Forrester studied saw a savings of $2.8 million over three years.

Plus, because Appian is an easy-to-use and centralized platform, business users and technical teams can work together more easily, leading to development projects that move faster and truly fit the organization’s needs.

2. Automate a wide variety of manual tasks.

By automating various manual tasks, like processing customer forms, invoices, contracts, and returns, organizations decreased the time they spent on them by 95%.

The head of retail banking technology for one of the financial services organizations that Forrester interviewed broke down what it was like before they automated with Appian:

“It was insane. . . . People would push a cart full of paper documents and individually drop them off at people’s desks, manually noting who got what. Then, they would manually key in all the data from contracts into a spreadsheet, then manually key that into another application.” 

Instead of working this way, Appian’s automation capabilities allow employees to avoid labor-intensive, manual tasks and instead focus on things like innovating and improving the customer experience.

3. Spend less on legacy licenses and maintenance costs.

Appian's flexible platform enables organizations to overlay it on top of their existing application infrastructure, reducing spending on legacy licenses and maintenance. By automating or connecting workflows, organizations can retire certain applications, resulting in a 50% decrease in costs by three years. This translates to substantial cost savings of $2.3 million. 

One of the customers Forrester spoke with said,

“We layered Appian on top of our existing legacy originations platform. We built a modern UI and new capabilities but we still interact with that legacy platform without the end users knowing. That’s a big lift to the organization because you can give them new capabilities but at the same time avoid a huge rip and replace process.”

4. Save time on audit preparation.

Appian streamlines compliance-related processes by providing a centralized platform for managing audits and automating tasks. According to the Forrester TEI study, organizations using Appian reduced the time spent on audit preparation from three weeks of full-time equivalent (FTE) hours to just six FTE hours. 

The head of retail banking technology at a financial services firm described how Appian helped them centralize compliance information: “We have a very consistent way to answer audits at the Appian level. . . . All the data is in one place; all the applications are in one place. It’s easy to decipher and communicate what the logic was behind decisions. A lot of the audits come in and say: ‘Well, how was this determined? How was this calculated?’ And it’s quite easy within Appian to display that.”

Streamline operations and boost efficiency with process automation.

Appian customers are saying farewell to constraints on developer bandwidth, managing workflows manually, paying for unnecessary licensing and maintenance, and trying to stay compliant without modern compliance technology. While “process” and “efficiency” may not be the most thrilling of words, automating processes with Appian has an immense impact. 

Contact us to learn more about how Appian can work for your organization.