In a perfect storm of maturing automation technology and the economic and workforce pressures of the pandemic, companies are shifting their automation strategies into high gear — with 78% of IT leaders planning to increase their investment over the next 12 months. This follows an unprecedented year that saw nearly half (48%) of enterprises accelerate their automation projects to help them manage through the pandemic.
Automation is speeding up digital transformation across many enterprises, as they harness the power of technology to streamline business processes, make smarter and more timely data-driven decisions, and improve the customer and employee experience. All while boosting their ability to see around corners, adapt as needed, and run faster in order to scale up and seize the moment, especially in times of rapid change.
But what are the top reasons they’re automating their enterprise? In our survey conducted in February 2021, 400 IT decision-makers in the US and UK were asked about their automation initiatives. The top 5 reasons for investing in automation closely follow how the pandemic has reshaped the business environment.
Top 5 reasons companies are investing in automation:
- Cost savings. 63% of respondents cited cost savings as a primary driver for their automation efforts. With economic pressures weighing heavily on many industries, automating business processes and workflows that formerly required manual toil cuts down on labor and operational costs and speeds up business results.
- Increase customer satisfaction. 59% of respondents are focused on how automation can increase customer satisfaction by streamlining the customer journey, offering real-time visibility into the customer’s engagement with the brand, eliminating friction, and integrating every touchpoint of the customer journey in a seamless, connected way.
- Drive employee productivity. 58% of those surveyed said that driving employee productivity was behind their automation efforts. Improving employee productivity is closely linked to improving the customer experience, as removing rote, repetitive, manual work from an employee’s workday frees them up to use data, insights, and their hard-earned skills and expertise to deliver targeted and meaningful value to the customer.
- Grow top-line revenues. 50% reported that increasing the top-line was their motivation behind automation, the culmination of the full benefits of automation that moves the business faster, secures wins based on unparalleled customer experiences, and drives opportunity and growth.
- Accelerate innovation. 48% cited automation’s ability to accelerate innovation at their enterprise, integrating data and applications faster and freeing DevOps teams to develop and iterate faster on solutions that meet their internal stakeholder and external customer needs.
It’s worth noting that all five of these reasons are linked to each other and automation in one area has a ripple effect on the others. Also, that 99% of respondents agreed that taking an enterprise-wide approach to automation versus a siloed, one-off approach is notable, with an integration platform as a service (iPaaS) or workflow automation tool named as the number one solution in their enterprise automation toolkit.