Automation is advancing faster than the enterprise knowledge required to support it

Automation is transforming the enterprise around the globe, directly impacting the bottom line as a result of improved productivity and efficiency, according to UiPath.

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But automation’s impact on the workplace is not well understood and cannot be ignored: automation raises concerns about the impact on jobs, skills, wages, and the nature of work itself.

Forrester surveyed 270 decision makers from operations groups, shared services, finance, and other lines of business across the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany.

Investment in automation will rise

Eighty-six percent of respondents cite that improving the customer experience is a “critical” or “high” business priority that their organization will adopt over the next 12 months.

Automation – namely RPA – will enable businesses to deliver better service to their customers, which will drive conversions and revenue. Furthermore, automation is also enabling businesses to reduce costs, differentiate themselves in the marketplace, and improve employee experience – all top priorities for survey respondents.

For these reasons, 66 percent of companies in the study will increase RPA software spend by at least 5 percent over the next 12 months.

Automation will affect roles in different ways

By 2030, some jobs will be cannibalized, some will be created, others will be transformed – but only a few will remain untouched. To win in the future of work, businesses need to plan for automation’s disruption on every job role and level.

The digital skills gap is a concern for all employees

With automation advancing, some employees will be motivated, passionate, and advocate for the change, while others will be reluctant to learn new skills.

Forty-one percent of respondents say their employees are concerned that their existing digital skills may not match what their job will require in the future, while 53 percent say employees are concerned or feel threatened by the growing complexity of tasks they face.

Automation education in the workplace will boost career prospects

When businesses invest in automation, they should invest in employee education, too. Training employees, providing them vocational courses, or encouraging them to pursue digital qualifications allows them to overcome fears around automation and embrace it as a productivity-boosting asset.

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Automation is advancing faster than the enterprise knowledge required to support it