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2019 Automation Trends Recap: New Report from The Economist Intelligence Unit

>>2019 Automation Trends Recap: New Report from The Economist Intelligence Unit

The Economist Intelligence Unit recently launched a report on automation and its impact based on research with over 500 executives in eight countries. Titled The Advance of Automation: Business Hopes, Fears and Reality, the report was sponsored by our partner, UiPath.

Here, we provide some salient highlights from the report, as well as links to resources so you can learn more about the results we’re creating with clients using automation, specifically robotic process automation (RPA).

Top Automation Trends from 2019 Survey

“The research results paint a broadly positive picture of the impact that automation is having on organizations. The operational benefits are clearly visible to business leaders, and there are expectations that it will soon begin generating top-line gains as well.”

  • 90%+ of organizations are using automation technologies. And, 61% of US organizations surveyed make extensive use of automation.
  • 50%+ are using automation extensively, particularly for processes relating to
  • IT, operations and production, and finance.

Interestingly, most respondents say that their automation efforts have helped their organization kickstart their digital transformation efforts. We’ve seen this to be true as automation can be an accelerator to achieving greater efficiency and reach through digital channels, like mobile or web portals.

Sectors most utilizing automation today:

Sectors

  • 61% manufacturing
  • 56% financial services/insurance
  • 49% healthcare
  • 35% government

Departments being automated today:

Sectors

  • ~70% Operations/production
  • 70% IT operations
  • 60%+ Customer service
  • 60% Sales
  • ~60% Finance
  • 50%+ Office management
  • ~50% HR

Similar to the research findings, we’re seeing a deeper investment in back-office operations and processes for automation with an eye towards shifting to front-office systems and activities on the horizon.

C-Suite becoming responsible for automation:

Sectors

  • 84% of surveyed firms have a C-level executive responsible for the success of automation, particularly the CTO (29%), CIO (17%), and CEO (22%).
  • Others from the c-suite are responsible as well, but less often – CDO (4%), COO (4%), and CFO (3%).

AI & Robotic Process Automation Trends

Sectors

  • 7:10 organizations are prioritizing AI as well as RPA for implementation.
  • 71% of respondents believe that increased automation of customer service processes will be extremely important to their firm’s competitiveness. This level of automation will require more AI capabilities.

“…there is a strong belief that automation is most effective when it complements humans. The belief is equally strong that it will accelerate human achievement.” We have found this to be true as well. Most of our clients are choosing an “attended, in tandem” and “hybrid” approach where automation uses human-robot collaboration.

Top 5 Most Significant Benefits of Automation

Sectors

  • 52% say productivity
  • 32% say reduced human error
  • 28% say improved consistency of processes & output
  • 27% say enhanced customer experience
  • 27% say increased revenue
  • 42% believe providing education and reskilling is among the most important practices they can employ to smooth the implementation of automation

“…there is a strong belief that automation is most effective when it complements humans. The belief is equally strong that it will accelerate human achievement.” We have found this to be true as well. Most of our clients are choosing an “attended, in tandem” and “hybrid” approach where automation uses human-robot collaboration.

Skills and Support Needed

Sectors

  • 39% say they need more complex problem-solving skills
  • 36% more creativity
  • 34% more collaboration
  • 27% more people management
  • 22% more advanced education

“…surveyed executives believe to one degree or another that automation will accelerate human achievement and that people will be happier and stress-free as a result.”

This survey highlighted the value and benefits of automation, including RPA, as well as the priority that executives are placing on it in their current and future plans. If you’re looking for expert assistance to accerlate the ROI of automation, contact us and look into these additional resources.

More Automation Reading & Resources

Case Study: RPA Claims Processing: Automating 5,000 Claim Audits Per Week

Case Study: RPA Automates License Credential Verification Cutting Costs by 30%

Insight: Accelerate Your Digital Transformation Journey

Primer: Rise of the Robots — Robotic Process Automation

White Paper: “Robotic Process Automation:  Maximizing Human Effort While Improving Efficiency, Accuracy and Speed”

Economist Research Brief: The Advance of Automation: Business Hopes, Fears and Reality

White Paper: Published by IDG in cooperation with CIO.com and SDLC Partners