Automation is revolutionising business processes, with developments such as robotic process automation and chatbots transforming operational efficiency and creating new revenue and customer experience opportunities.
But organisations are still only scratching the surface of automation, according to a new report, Reshaping the future: unlocking automation’s untapped value.
The Capgemini Research Institute surveyed more than 700 senior executives who are experimenting with or implementing automation solutions and found that few firms are deploying multiple use cases at scale (i.e. implementations that go beyond pilot and test projects and are adopted at a larger scale across business units, functions or geographies).
This is despite forecasts which suggest that cost savings of $32bn to $165bn (£25bn to £129bn) could be realised across the automotive, retail, utilities and manufacturing sectors over the next five years by implementing automation at scale.
Generally, automation is driven by operational gains or customer satisfaction rather than by strategic long-term growth, the researchers found. Over 40% of businesses said the number one objective behind automation initiatives is to improve quality, and only 23% are looking to gain incremental revenue.
Meanwhile, only 32% of surveyed organisations are focusing on use cases deemed “quick wins” at scale – those that are not only easy to implement but also highly beneficial, such as lead generation for sales and marketing, anti-fraud checks for financial services, and predictive maintenance for industrial manufacturing.
“Leaders need a bold vision and a clear roadmap to build momentum and bring the organisation behind them,” said Ashwin Yardi, an expert in automation and industrialisation at Capgemini. “It needs to be recognised that automation is a technology solution to business transformation, and hence both business and technology leadership should be engaged actively from day one.”