The pandemic has underscored the importance of automation and despite certain challenges on the path, CXOs are ready to seize the opportunities in the next normal. According to a new IDC study commissioned by Automation Anywhere, nearly half of all businesses in India will implement robotic process automation (RPA) by 2024.
The study further anticipates that RPA adoption rates will increase by 57% in just the next year, triggered by the pandemic.
The IDC report, ‘Building Business Resiliency: Automation the Path to the Future Enterprise’, which surveyed technology executives in India, across multiple industries, including across healthcare, financial services, government, technology and telecom, revealed that the pandemic spurred a recalibration of business plans accelerating digital transformation – and RPA adoption.
“The pandemic is a stark reminder of the critical importance of being prepared for any future calamity or uncertainty,” said Milan Sheth, Executive Vice President, IMEA, Automation Anywhere. “Automation is at the core of any business transformation strategy — and two out of every three customers today are starting that journey in the cloud. Cloud RPA is the future, enabling remote work, reducing the burden on IT resources, and lowering infrastructure costs.”
What turns out as top challenges however are difficulty in developing a business case for automation, lack of clarity on the project and identifying the right automation software. The other challenges highlighted by the CXOs are cultural resistance to automation and lack of necessary skills to execute automation projects. Most of them also cite meeting regulatory or compliance requirements are also big challenges in the path of automation.
Despite the roadblocks, the study found that 57% of organizations are investing in RPA and intelligent automation to build resilience post-COVID, as opposed to 21% investing in analytics/big data, 7% in machine learning, and 15% in other emerging technologies. Indian organizations cited trustworthiness as their top priority for digital transformation and are looking to automation for increased security and overall governance of processes. Respondents also said they believe that RPA can improve accuracy, consistency and security of transactions.
Among the key findings, 56% of organizations surveyed plan to deploy digital workers and software bots that work directly with employees, encouraging more human-bot collaboration. The study found that 47% of employees believe that RPA increases business efficiencies.
The study identified four key pillars essential for an automation journey that include business resiliency, democratization with automation, efficiency and scalability – and trust, as businesses move to a new normal.
Business resiliency: IDC noted that organizations focusing on resiliency let automation spearhead their business objectives. These businesses understand the value of automation as not a way of getting people out of the process by reducing cost but by focusing on digital collaboration and digitalization of management to build a digital workplace.
Efficiency and scalability: According to the report, scaling automation strategically results in enhanced business value, more so for a dispersed workforce. The rise of intelligent automation diminishes the need for human oversight in complex workflows and processes, resulting in improved efficiency and enhanced robustness.
Democratization with automation: It essentially means that the rise of a digital workforce mandates that there is accessibility for one and all. Businesses can drive democratization through human-bot collaboration, digital workers augmenting human workers, access to RPA software and tools, cross skilling of employees and sharing the best practices of automation, to name a few.
Trust: Automation invigorates trust and security as digital priorities continue to drive partner, employee and customer decisions. For effective automation, overall governance and maintenance of digital workplace are imperative. Organizations should consider elements such as governance strategy for bots, risk assessment, vulnerable scanning and data security, to name a few
“Resilience, intelligence, and empowerment at scale are top priorities for the CXOs in the new normal,” said Rishu Sharma, Principal Analyst, Cloud & AI, IDC India.
“As the nature of jobs and work changes after the pandemic, digital workers will add value beyond ROI to help organizations develop new capabilities and business models. Automation will become a business imperative for driving innovation, customer centricity, and gaining efficiencies,” he summed up.