78% of business leaders see robotic process automation (RPA) as a solution for solving the global productivity problem, 92% see it as a catalyst for driving digital transformation, and majority feel as though it is essential for business to remain competitive, according to Blue Prism?s annual survey report, titled The Impact of a Digital Workforce on Business Agility & Survival. The report is based on research conducted with more than 6,700 knowledge workers and senior IT decision makers.
C-suite executives are also embracing automation with 92% looking to deploy and extend these capabilities throughout their organizations, while 81% indicated RPA and/or automation is critical in scaling technologies such as AI across their business. From creating and enhancing jobs, saving time and costs, accelerating and improving work quality, and making organizations more innovative, those surveyed universally agree that RPA is providing a hugely positive impact on work, business agility and resilience.
One thing is certain: the impact of automation is being felt from the boardroom to the shop floor. In our new economic reality, digital transformation has become a top business priority, and organizations are increasingly looking for ways to stay resilient, responsive and competitive. 81% of business decision makers agree that RPA and/or automation is essential for their businesses to remain competitive. These leaders view these technologies as core to their digital transformation efforts and understand that they must adopt them to thrive in this tumultuous business environment.
?Intelligent automation is more important than ever in driving business resilience and success,? says Jason Kingdon, Executive Chairman and CEO of Blue Prism. ?These survey results validate how employees and business leaders alike see a Digital Workforce forever changing the way they work and compete. The potential of this technology is only limited by your imagination, as intelligent automation is at the center of enabling digital transformations for large scale enterprises. Soon, organizations will consist of one-third Digital Workforce, one-third employees and one-third infrastructure, as the future of work is only accelerating due to the COVID-19 pandemic.?
The New Normal ? Post COVID-19
Gauging the impact COVID-19 is having on businesses, Blue Prism also surveyed its own global customer base and found that 94% see a renewed urgency to use RPA as a lifeline for maintaining business continuity and ensuring a higher level of overall responsiveness. 94% of these customers also see Blue Prism?s Digital Workforce enabling greater competitiveness while supporting remote collaboration in this ?new normal?. 100% of respondents are now looking to expand or extend RPA use within their organization, a sign of continued customer momentum and permanence.
Tackling the Global Productivity Problem
Businesses across the globe are contending with unprecedented challenges from reduced workforces, customer demands and macroeconomic pressures. Further, global productivity growth has stagnated at one-tenth of what it was 40 years ago for some economies. New data points to automation technology as a likely solution, and workers are willing and ready to embrace it. In fact, a strong majority of business decision makers see RPA (78%) and automation (79%) as a solution to the global productivity problem.
As businesses worldwide strive to remain competitive in their marketplace and maintain business agility, RPA and automation present solutions to many of the challenges organizations face. Leaders believe that some of the key benefits of RPA/automation are the fact that these technologies allow their teams to focus on more strategic work (46%), afford for greater time savings (45%) and allow business leaders to scale the deployment of other emerging technologies (40%). While 81% of business decision makers agree that RPA and/or automation is an essential tool for saving time and costs across their organizations, 81% also feel that the two technologies offer even more to their businesses. This signals that organizations are really focused on how to utilize these technologies to tackle complex projects and continuously boost productivity levels.
The huge economic impact of RPA cannot be realized without internal support. Businesses have to make sure that their employees are properly prepared to face this change in the way they work. If they are not, they risk missing out on making real progress. As for employees, 78% believe that using tech to automate tasks would improve their work-lives. These findings signal that business decision makers and employees are unified on the fact that there are clear benefits to automation.
63% of business leaders reported a struggle to meet customer demand, and 93% felt that automation would help address this challenge. Now, as companies across all industries look for ways to rise above the economic uncertainty and compete in an increasingly challenging market, automation will serve as an asset in enabling business continuity.
A Skills Shift Coming
The global survey reveals there?s a need for reskilling and training, with over three quarters surveyed indicating that there are skills which they are constantly sourcing for, such as data analysis and data science. To address this, 78% of organizations are providing learning opportunities for new skills/qualifications when they introduce technologies that will transform their job. Further, 80% of knowledge workers feel comfortable reskilling for a change in work role, indicating a growing trust in automation and willingness to reskill alongside digital colleagues.
Contrary to the widely held belief that employees are afraid of losing their job to automation, only 33% harbor fears about job loss in the next three years as RPA and automation continue to have a positive impact on workplaces. Fear of automation is diminishing as knowledge workers are becoming increasingly comfortable with RPA, with 81% indicating they understand the benefits that automation can bring to their organization. More than half of knowledge workers are excited at the opportunities that RPA will create, while decision makers feel that adopting new tech will attract talent.
All these results highlight RPA being used as a platform and not merely a productivity tool, giving customers access to end-to-end Intelligent Automation solutions that cover all IT environments ? on-premises, cloud, hybrid and SaaS.