Intelligent Automation Post-Covid: Does Your Business Measure Up?

Carly Read
Senior Reporter

How IT leaders are evolving their digital investment strategies

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Intelligent Automation Post-Covid: Does Your Business Measure Up?

The future of work was well on its way at the start of 2020, with Artificial Intelligence and intelligent automation at the forefront of the digital discussion. Now that an unprecedented global pandemic has reinforced the power and necessity of these technologies, the future may be arriving sooner than expected. 

In the wake of Covid-19, government organisations and businesses have turned to customer-facing and back-office automation solutions to tackle the challenges brought on by shutdowns and social distancing. They are using automation to handle spikes in customer requests for services and information related to the crisis, and to help fill in for and support employees who can no longer work in brick and mortar offices. To further explore how organisations are using these solutions, Inference Solutions commissioned Opinion Matters to survey 500 US IT decision makers in eight industries ripe for automation to know how IT leaders are evolving their digital investment strategies and how they have used automation to remain agile. 

Navigating the complexities of the post-pandemic world  

The data found that IT leaders are using automation to not only lower operating costs, but to help their employees be more productive, and to improve customer relationships and loyalty. Additionally, many organisations believe this technology will be key to resilience as they navigate the complexities of re-opening and doing business in a post-pandemic world. 

According to IT decision makers:  

  • 71% agree that intelligent self-service automation helped their organisation remain agile during Covid-19
  • 64% expect their organisation to increase investments in automation technology over the coming year as a result of Covid-19, and more than a quarter (26%) will increase investments more than 10%
  • 76% agree that automating more customer support tasks would benefit their workforce

Automation is already a key strategy for most organisations. More than half (58%) of respondents to the survey had implemented an automation strategy prior to Covid-19, and only 5% had no strategy. This was consistent across industries except in the Home Entertainment sector, where 52% of respondents were still in the earliest phases of developing and planning their strategies. Interestingly, the Government sector had the highest number of respondents who said their organisations had no automation strategy (18%), and the highest number of respondents whose strategy had been in place for more than two years (28%). 

Research indicates that organisations across all sectors have benefited from automation technology, specifically intelligent self-service, and they recognize the value of these solutions in adapting to changes driven by Covid-19. More than two-thirds (71%) of IT decision makers agree that intelligent self-service automation helped their organisation remain agile during Covid-19. That number jumps to 87% in Banking, where 48% of respondents strongly agreed with the statement. Retail, Insurance and Healthcare respondents also agreed more strongly with that statement compared to the average respondent. Among the 71% of respondents who agreed that self-service automation would have helped their organisation remain agile during the crisis, Banking was again the sector where the most respondents (51%) strongly agreed. More than a third (37%) of Healthcare respondents and 49% of Retail respondents also strongly agreed. 

Additionally, most organisations agreed that automating more customer support tasks had helped (70%) or would help (73%) improve customer relationships and loyalty. These results were again higher in Banking (nearly 90% agree with both statements) and Retail (more than 80% agree with both statements). More than three-fourths of respondents (76%) agree that automating more customer support tasks has benefited their workforce. The same percentage agreed that this activity would benefit their workforce. In Retail, 93% of respondents agreed that automating more tasks would benefit their workforce, with 51% strongly agreeing, and 90% of Banking respondents agreed that these efforts had already benefited their workforce. Finally, 68% of all respondents agree that intelligent self-service automation has yielded a positive ROI for their organisation. In Banking, 82% of respondents agreed and 45% strongly agreed. 

 


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