New Research Reveals Rapid Shift Towards Intelligent Automation

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New research released by Automation Anywhere, a global player in Robotic Process Automation (RPA), reveals a major shift towards intelligent automation and RPA to increase business productivity while reducing operational costs in a post-COVID-19 world.

The research – which surveyed more than 5,000 senior executives from mid-sized to large organisations in over 20 countries across India, the Middle East and emerging markets in Africa and Southeast Asia – found that more than 80 percent plan to invest in digital technologies to build resilience in their future business plans. These investments are key business priorities emerging in a post COVID-19 economy, according to a new report titled “The Work World is Transforming.”

According to the report, which aimed to capture current priories and future investment plans,  more than 70 percent of respondents said they anticipate at least half of their workforce will be digital workers, while over one quarter expect more than 80 percent of their workforce to be a digital workforce. This comes as organisations move away from physical locations and restructure their operational and functional strategies – all from a digital perspective – to extend support to their remote workforces to ensure higher productivity.

“Our research shows that COVID-19 has created the perfect storm for organisations to accelerate digital transformation and has forced them to rethink what more can be automated across any industry,” said Milan Sheth, Executive Vice President of IMEA, Automation Anywhere. “The pandemic has encouraged a new wave of digitisation that will revolutionise our life as we know it.  Organisations are transforming their engagements with customers, employees, suppliers and other stakeholders and will leverage the current crisis as an opportunity to drive innovative digital models to gain increased efficiencies.”

The study details how automation along with artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics will play a vital role as it can help democratise work and personal time while establishing clear and disciplined work schedules for workers.

Predictions for a post COVID-19 world indicate intense and rapid development of technologies, such as RPA and intelligent automation considered by most – nearly 50 percent of the organisations surveyed, as a way to future proof business and power digital transformation. The survey also indicated 57 percent of respondents wanting to acquire skills in RPA and AI in the post COVID-19 world, followed by 28 percent being reskilled in analytics and 15 percent in machine learning.

According to the research, these trends were seen in organisations across key industries, such as banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI); global capability centers (GCCs) and pharma, healthcare and life sciences. While certain sectors like manufacturing, travel and retail have been hardest hit by the pandemic, they remain optimistic and are seeking new, digital technologies to understand customer behaviour and drive new models for engaging them as the crisis ends, the study shows.

Preparing for the ‘new normal’ and the ‘new work world’

The report summarises five key themes that are driving the current priorities and future investment areas for companies. These include digitisation, productivity, automation, upskilled workforces, as well as health and hygiene, which will be interwoven into service lines to meet new wellness demands, brought on by the pandemic. Contactless deliveries, along with hand sanitizers and masks will become second to skin, and travel will also be restricted to basic needs. According to the study, each has a special significance in today’s scenario and can prepare enterprises for an uncertain future where workforce mobility will not be hampered.

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