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Automation: a lifeline for businesses during COVID

New research from Deloitte has found that two thirds (68 percent) of business leaders used automation to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the survey of 441 executives from 29 countries, three in four (73 percent) of organisations reported using automation technologies such as robotics, machine learning and natural language processing – an increase of 48 percent compared to 2019.

The research also found that the number of organisations deploying automation at scale has tripled over the past two years, with 23 percent of workers having already seen a change to their roles and ways of working because of the implementation of intelligent automation and one in 10 having to retrain.

Justin Watson, partner and leader of Deloitte’s robotic and cognitive automation practice, said: “Automation has been a lifeline for businesses during the pandemic – allowing for rapid increases in processing capacity, new processes to support the response, increasing productivity and accuracy, whilst also improving the experience of customers and employees. As organisations scrambled to support home working en-masse and provide COVID-secure work sites, automation took the strain to ensure business continuity. For instance, by triaging requests to allow contact centre agents to manage the higher number of calls and emails, or accelerating the validation of loans from financial institutions. In the months ahead, investment in automation technologies will continue to flow with the direct aim of bolstering organisational resilience.”

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