Thursday, 23rd September 2021

Automate or die?

Automation enables agility, increases speed, and drives top-line revenue while freeing up resources and budgets to focus on more strategic tasks

CA Technologies has published the results from its landmark research conducted by analyst firm Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), “The State of Automation”. The study reveals the global state of automation maturity across organisations, highlights the increasing adoption of automation to drive business success, and demonstrates that automation is becoming the backbone for modern business. Organisations who do not embrace modern business automation will flounder and struggle to survive.

Automation drives agility, speed & revenue

The report illustrates automation’s impact on businesses’ strategies. These results provide business decision makers with a real-world understanding of the rate at which their industries are becoming automated, and its overall effect on productivity and revenue growth.

According to the report:

  • 51 percent of organisations see automation as key to delivering rapid rate of change.
  • 49 percent of organisations state that automation drives new revenue opportunities.
  • Automation is now a strategic discipline within all enterprises – an incredible 98 percent of organisations are driving automation plans across their businesses. However, 59 percent of organisations state that they have not achieved a very mature level of automation, and only 18 percent of organisations currently have an Automation COE – this is expected to grow to 70 percent within 24 months.

The successful implementation of automation also varies widely across industries, with retail showing the highest level of maturity (70 percent) and manufacturing the least mature (35 percent).

Anticipating Automation’s Future with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Businesses believe that artificial intelligence (AI) will only further increase automation’s value to their processes:

  • 98 percent of respondents believe AI and machine learning will improve automation.
  • 65 percent of respondents believe AI and machine learning will leverage data for better decision making and increase overall knowledge through better usage of historical data.
  • Almost one-third of organisations are changing processes to empower machine learning.

“As companies continue to embrace AI and automation, it’s imperative that different industries and departments understand their respective priorities and bottlenecks in adopting and implementing these technologies,” said Dan Twing, president and COO at EMA.

Additional key findings from the report include:

  • CIOs and business executives are the driving force behind automation projects.
  • Automation allows organisations to focus workers on more strategic tasks.
  • Europe rates “Freeing up Strategic Resources” and “Reducing Errors” higher than the U.S.
  • Business leaders rate finance and accounting as having the most benefit from increased automation, while they see software development as the lowest.
  • Looking at the types of IT automation in use, WLA tops the list at 82 percent, followed closely by IT process automation (Runbook) at 81 percent and ERP workload management at 76 percent. Surprisingly, big data automation (33 percent) and data warehousing, BI analytics, and reporting (36 percent) are the least automated.

The research also indicates that many organisations have struggled with a large number of task-specific tools, and many others have the benefit of the experience of those who have gone before them as they start down the path to automation. Participants stated that they are looking to broader, multipurpose automation tools, such as workload automation (WLA) on the IT side of the house, or robotic process automation (RPA) for business processes. Both approaches are broad, and while WLA is generally thought of as an IT operations tool, the research demonstrates that it is now increasingly being applied to business processes.

The RPA Conundrum

According to the research, many participants are using RPA on a limited basis for some IT process automation. While 88 percent of respondents have deployed RPAs, or plan to deploy, RPA usage is very low, with most organizations having less than 100 bots. Thirty-five percent of respondents believe RPA will become more important as it becomes AI-enabled.

Responding to this, CA Technologies is the only vendor that supports clients as they work to get their bots smarter, supporting their need to keep up with the speed of the business, which requires continuous updates. With new integrations with leading RPA vendors, CA Continuous Delivery gives customers the business agility to deploy bots faster into production.

“This research shows that business automation is clearly recognised as a key enabler for business success. Organisations that fail to embrace modern automation solutions risk becoming industry laggards. Never has the phrase ‘Automate or Die’ become more relevant,” said Kurt Sand, general manager, CA Technologies. “CA offers enterprises the reliable, secure solutions needed to enable a business to become efficiently automated.”

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