According to Deloitte’s recent annual global survey of executives, 73 per cent of respondents said their organizations have embarked on a path to intelligent automation: a significant 58 per cent jump from the number reported in 2019. Those organizations range from piloting, with 1 to 10 automations (37 per cent), to scaling, with 51 or more automations (13 per cent). The number of surveyed organizations that are deploying intelligent automation at scale has nearly doubled since 2019.
Although most respondents told Deloitte COVID-19 has caused their organizations to rethink how work is done, the wheels of progress had already been turning; of all survey respondents, 78 per cent are implementing Robotic Process Automation and 16 per cent plan to do so in the next three years.
There are other barriers to success: process fragmentation and a lack of IT readiness were ranked by survey respondents at the top of the list (consistent with responses in the past two years). Resistance to change was ranked third, closely followed by a lack of a clear vision.
The survey also revealed untapped opportunities in the areas of process monitoring and process mining. Such tools can speed the discovery of inefficiencies, and the majority of respondents agreed that they drive better outcomes. Despite this, only 20 per cent of respondents are using process mining, and 33 per cent are using process monitoring.
Automation-as-a-service (AaaS) is gaining popularity – but not yet full acceptance – as a critical way to deliver intelligent automation in the next three years. Already 64 per cent of respondents use some form of AaaS, most often for end-to-end development, followed by management and maintenance of automations, then development of automations. This remains an area of unexploited potential for the 36 per cent who reported they are not using AaaS.
Cloud technology is also becoming more widely regarded as future enabling technology for automation: Almost half of survey respondents already use it for some of their automations, and 13 per cent run automations solely on cloud infrastructure. However, 11 per cent do not plan to use cloud infrastructure for automation solutions, overlooking its ability to keep pace with demand and be scaled to ensure capacity is always optimized: a key benefit in minimizing operating costs.