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Covid-19 is accelerating the use of automation

Companies are rapidly turning to automation to keep business running during the coronavirus outbreak, according to new research by Bain & Company.

The firm’s data shows that processes are being automated to manage payroll, diagnose customer experience issues while call centres are closed, and resolve IT service issues. It is based on survey responses from nearly 800 executives worldwide.

“The ongoing crisis forced companies to move their operations remote within a matter of days, underscoring a greater need than ever for automation technology to help maintain business continuity,” said Bain & Company partner Michael Heric. “As companies adapt to new routines and prepare for a pending downturn, automation solutions that might have been years away a few months ago, are suddenly right around the corner.”

Companies are reporting cost savings of roughly 20 per cent over the past two years from the implementation of automation, while nearly 45 per cent of respondents report that their automation projects have not delivered the expected savings.

The report shows companies lacking a rigorous automation agenda risk falling behind in their respective industries. 

The firm estimates the number of companies scaling up automation technologies will double over the next two years as the Covid-19 crisis likely accelerates.

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