Data Viewpoint

Tactical use of automation is no longer enough. Wise enterprises target transformation.

October 18, 2021

Automation’s primary value proposition may once have been cost-cutting, but experience, not the least of the last 18 months of pandemic-driven change, has made enterprises see automation as more fundamental to the businesses they are becoming. Data captured in a recent (Q3, 2021) global HFS Research survey of 200 leaders from enterprises with revenues of $500 million and more found cost-cutting was a No. 1 priority for automation in just 11% of the companies surveyed.

Supported by Blue Prism, we found:

  • Digital transformation ranked as a top-three priority for 80% of participants. It was No. 1 for 34%.
  • Optimizing legacy systems remains an essential priority for automation efforts as enterprises seek to fuse new opportunities with previous and current investments in the IT estate. Twenty-four percent (24%) rank this as their No. 1 priority, with 62% giving it a top-three ranking.
  • The skew is toward longer-term strategic goals and away from the fire-fighting of cutting costs. Companies now prioritize revenue and productivity upsides (60% ranking revenue generation as a top-three priority and 53% placing productivity in their top three).
The Bottom Line: Enterprise leaders are learning to embrace automation for transformation—driving demand for end-to-end solutions.

Enterprise leaders have learned tough and important lessons by throwing automation at crisis after crisis during the pandemic. In connecting the dots, many realize there are new ways to get work done. In prioritizing “digital transformation,” enterprise leaders recognize they can scale the value automation brings right across the enterprise. They aim to make it their native discipline for transforming to and delivering in, end-to-end business processes. As they do so, they realize the need for solutions that go beyond the tactical to deliver business outcomes in cross-silo processes—as identified in the HFS vision of the OneOffice™.

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