COVID-19: RPA is a lifeline for business continuity


Amidst unprecedented business disruption caused by COVID-19 pandemic, robotic process automation (RPA) is gaining strong momentum across the globe as a lifeline for maintaining business continuity and ensuring a higher level of overall responsiveness, a new report states.

According to Blue Prism’s new annual report “The Impact of a Digital Workforce on Business Agility & Survival” that provides new insights into the future of work, 78% of business leaders see RPA as a solution solving the global productivity problem. In comparison, 92% see it as a catalyst for driving digital transformation.

The report, based on research conducted with more than 6,700 knowledge workers and senior IT decision-makers in 13 countries including the UK, US, Japan, Australia, Germany, India, Singapore, and China, states that majority of the leaders feel as though RPA is essential for the business to remain competitive.

Businesses worldwide are contending with unprecedented challenges from reduced workforces, customer demands, and macroeconomic pressures. Further, global productivity growth has stagnated at one-tenth of what it was 40 years ago for some economies. New data points to automation technology as a feasible solution, and workers are willing and ready to embrace it. A substantial majority of business decision-makers see RPA (78%) and automation (79%) as a solution to the global productivity problem.

Leaders believe that some of the key benefits of RPA/automation are the fact that these technologies allow their teams to focus on more strategic work (46%), afford for greater time savings (45%) and enable business leaders to scale the deployment of other emerging technologies (40%). While 81% of business decision-makers agree that RPA is an essential tool for saving time and costs across their organizations, 81% also feel that the two technologies offer their businesses even more. This signals that organizations are focused on utilizing these technologies to tackle complex projects and continuously boost productivity levels.

As for employees, 78% believe that using tech to automate tasks would improve their work-lives. These findings signal that business decision-makers and employees are unified on the fact that there are clear benefits to automation. 63% of business leaders reported a struggle to meet customer demand, and 93% felt that automation would help address this challenge. As companies across all industries look for ways to rise above the economic uncertainty and compete in an increasingly challenging market, automation will serve as an asset in enabling business continuity.

C-suite executives embrace automation, with 92% looking to deploy and extend these capabilities throughout their organizations, while 81% indicated RPA is critical in scaling technologies such as AI across their business.

From creating and enhancing jobs, saving time and costs, accelerating and improving work quality, and making organizations more innovative, those surveyed universally agree that RPA provides a hugely positive impact on work, business agility, and resilience.

One thing is sure: the impact of automation is being felt from the boardroom to the shop floor. In our new economic reality, digital transformation has become a top business priority, and organizations are increasingly looking for ways to stay resilient, responsive, and competitive. 81% of business decision-makers agree that RPA is essential for their businesses to remain competitive. These leaders view these technologies as core to their digital transformation efforts and understand that they must adapt them to thrive in this tumultuous business environment.

“Intelligent automation is more important than ever in driving business resilience and success. These survey results validate how employees and business leaders alike see a Digital Workforce forever changing the way they work and compete. This technology’s potential is only limited by your imagination, as intelligent automation is at the center of enabling digital transformations for large-scale enterprises. Soon, organizations will consist of one-third Digital Workforce, one-third employees, and one-third infrastructure, as the future of work is only accelerating due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jason Kingdon, Executive Chairman and CEO of Blue Prism.

Contrary to the widely held belief that employees are afraid of losing their job to automation, only 33% harbor fears about job loss in the next three years as RPA and automation continue to have a positive impact on workplaces.

Fear of automation is diminishing as knowledge workers become increasingly comfortable with RPA, with 81% indicating they understand the benefits that automation can bring to their organization. More than half of knowledge workers are excited at the opportunities that RPA will create, while decision-makers feel that adopting new tech will attract talent.

To read the full report, click here.