Automation Scales, But Industry Isn’t Fully Embracing Growth Technologies

New Capgemini survey reveals that organisations are only scratching the surface of automation. This reluctance to automate is limiting the growth potential of technology in business. Brendan Barry, Director of Siris looks at this new research and offers solutions for quick automation wins.

Across the world, the automation of technology is liberating business processes and unlocking business growth. Research just in by global management consulting firm, Capgemini, reveals that “developments in automation technologies – from robotic process automation (RPA) to artificial intelligence (AI) – are transforming operational efficiency, productivity, and creating new revenue and customer experience opportunities.”

But businesses aren’t embracing the opportunity of growth delivered by automation. In its report, Reshaping The Future – Unlocking Automation’s Untapped Value, Capgemini finds that even in the US, the world’s most advanced manufacturing region, only 26% of organisations use automation at scale.

The global average for those countries surveyed (USA, France, Germany, UK, India, Netherlands and Sweden) was a mere 16%.

Current Level of Automation Deployment Among Organisations Experimenting With, Or Implementing Automation (Source: Capgemini Research Institute, Automation Use Case Survey; July 2018, N=705 organizations that are experimenting with or implementing automation initiatives.  Reshaping The Future – Unlocking Automation’s Untapped Value by Capgemini)

Capgemini surveyed over 700 senior executives currently experimenting or implementing automation solutions. 110 real-world automation use cases were analysed to understand how organisations scale these automation efforts.

The report found that, among those using or experimenting with automation, most organisations are focusing their automation efforts on operational gains or customer satisfaction. Fewer than 23% say their primary objective is revenue-focused. 43% of those surveyed named quality improvement as one of the main drivers.

The report found that the majority of organisations (73%) are adopting rule-based technologies rather than cognitive ones using AI. 18% of organisations use technologies like machine learning, deep learning and swarm intelligence.

There are quick wins to be had on various levels, from basic accounting function, such as automating the invoice/purchase order/receipt process, to marketing and sales, where companies like Harley-Davidson, for example, are using an AI tool that analyses highly targeted marketing activities to identify customers who shared the attributes of previous high-value customers — growing sales leads by 2930%.

Cloud-based services like SAP Business ByDesign provide an automation platform to turn growth potential into real business results. Organisations improve efficiencies and cut costs when every function in the organisation is connected, using time-tested best practices and in-depth analytics.

SAP Business ByDesign is designed for rapid deployment — with average implementation in the region of two to three months. The central core of the system is constantly being developed and improved, and, as this takes place in the cloud, there is no interruption to business. Customers remain cutting edge with the latest technology.

What is certain is that manual processes and disjointed systems inhibit business growth because of inefficient workflows, the difficulty with scaling these kinds of ‘systems’, and the challenge of not having a single source of truth. A lack of visibility across end-to-end business makes it hard to meet evolving customer expectations, and manual processes hamstring operations by making it impossible for them to leverage the latest technologies, and the benefits they bring.

The Capgemini research reveals that automating at scale can drive significant cost saving benefits across most verticals, but business needs to now embrace this to achieve growth benefits.