Over 90 percent of businesses report surge in automation demand

A new study from Salesforce and Vanson Bourne has revealed business demand for automation has surged and now spans multiple departments in a bid to accelerate efficiency and productivity due to macroeconomic uncertainty.

Commissioned by Salesforce, the global survey of 600 CIOs and IT decision makers found that the vast majority (91 percent) of respondents saw increased demand for automation from business teams over the last two years. The highest demand came from four departments: research and development (39 percent), administrative/operations (38 percent), customer service (33 percent) and marketing (26 percent).

The survey also reveals that existing technology stacks are impacting the speed at which IT teams are able to meet automation demands from the business. Nearly all (96 percent) respondents said that modifying and rebuilding automations is a challenge as systems and business requirements change, while 80 percent of organizations are concerned that supporting automation is likely to compound technical debt.

Matt McLarty, global field CTO and VP of the digital transformation office at MuleSoft, said: “Organizations across every industry want to automate processes and customer experiences as quickly as possible. However, if they try to go fast with the wrong tools and techniques, they’ll actually impede true innovation. Without taking a more composable approach, organizations risk compounding rather than reducing their technical debt.”

The survey also found that automation done right can help fuel efficient growth; 44 percent of respondents are now using integration and API management capabilities to fully support their business process automation efforts, with 53 percent stating they were using them to some extent.

More and more organizations are seeking to orchestrate their use of multiple technologies to automate business and IT processes in a hyperautomation strategy. The survey found that 80 percent will have hyperautomation on their technology roadmap within the next 24 months, meaning that they need the right tools and capabilities to build and modify automations.

“Organizations should never just think that once a process is automated the job is done,” adds McLarty. “If we’ve learned anything through this volatile period, it is that we need a new mentality when it comes to business. The organizations that thrive in the digital economy are the ones that adapt to changes the fastest. For established companies, that means focusing on three things: growth with efficiency and sustainability, agility with safety at scale, and continuous innovation.”