UiPath (NYSE:PATH), announced the results of the IDC APJ Automation Survey 2022, commissioned by UiPath, revealing that 84% of the Indian organizations will scale up their robotic process automation (RPA) initiatives or achieve an enterprise-wide RPA deployment by 2025. The survey also highlighted that 90% of Indian organizations today do not have an enterprise-wide RPA program in place despite recognizing the importance and benefits.
The survey polled organizations in nine countries across Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ), including Australia, China, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. It examined the level of automation maturity for APJ organizations, and how enterprises can scale automation to achieve business growth and outcomes. Fundamentally, 88% of the organizations in India agree that automation will be a critical requirement for business excellence, customer experience, and competitive success within the next 3 years.
“APJ business leaders are increasingly acknowledging the pivotal role of automation in resolving their pain points and accelerating growth across the region, against the backdrop of an intensifying competitive climate and turbulent macroeconomic environment. While improving operational efficiencies and enriching customer experience have been top of mind for leveraging automation, many organizations also believe that automation is a pathway towards meeting ESG and sustainability goals, which will be a gamechanger for corporate trustworthiness,” said Michael Araneta, Associate Vice President, IDC Financial Insights. “However, despite securing these unprecedented benefits, most organizations have been slow in taking the leap into implementing an enterprise-wide automation program due to myriad yet addressable challenges, including finding automation skills and talent, identifying the right automation software, and ensuring robust security and governance.”
“In this fast-changing dynamic world, automation has become a requirement for businesses to excel and their customer experience excellence with competitive success. In the next couple of years, we expect Indian organizations to fast-track automation implementations alongside an increased focus on intelligent process automation,” said Scott Hunter, Vice President- Strategic Engagements & Transformation, Asia Pacific, and Japan, UiPath. “While finding the right talent and automation skill remains one major challenge today, it is critical for organizations to focus on training and development plans to help with reskilling and upskilling across teams and units.”
The new survey also found that automation has become an important accelerator as enterprises look to achieve exponential growth.
Indian organizations to accelerate automation investments in the next 3 years
Between 2020 and 2021, automation spending has continued to accelerate as 82% of the organizations in India have increased spending. Further indicating the growing prioritization for automation, 32% of the Indian organizations have increased automation spending by 20%. The top business priorities for implementing automation include improving operational efficiencies (82%), delivering effective customer experiences (76%), and streamlining processes (70%).
“In India, automation is becoming a discussion at the C-suite level, with about one in two (48%) Indian respondents acknowledging that their CIOs or CTOs are leading the automation drive towards enterprise-wide adoption,” adds Araneta.
Additionally, with the growing significance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and sustainability, there is a massive upsurge expected in APJ organizations to garner automation investments for related use cases. About 16% of the Indian organizations will automate ESG and sustainability use cases next.
Paradigm shift to Intelligent Process Automation
About 65% of the Indian organizations intend to use Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) in over 30% of the total deployments in the next three years. Given that the IPA Software market in APJ is estimated to grow to USD5.5 billion in 2025, this highlights the necessity and potential to go beyond RPA to achieve comprehensive end-to-end process automation at scale.
Lack of skilled talent hampers enterprise-wide scaling of automation
However, the talent crunch has become a significant business challenge as many APJ organizations point to the shortage of automation skills and talent as the top challenge they face in scaling automation. 74% of the organizations in India said that finding automation skills and talent is their top challenge. As a result, 50% said that the availability of skilled automation talent and strong implementation partners’ support are key when selecting automation solutions, while 84% said they look out for end-to-end enterprise grade solutions with a modern and modular architecture.
Citizen-led development and training become hygiene needs in the future of work
Across India, 38% of the organizations already have non-IT domain employees involved in automating aspects of their work in 2022, while 40% plan to get their employees involved. In APJ, the banking and insurance industry is leading the pack, with 56% of non-IT domain employees already involved in automation, followed by the telecommunications (50%) and retail (49%) sectors.
As more organizations integrate automation in the work of non-IT domain employees, respondents in India highlighted that collaboration with IT (54%), approval from senior leadership (20%), and clear guidance on best practices (14%), are the key requirements for successful implementations. Additionally, organizations will need to develop a comprehensive training and development plan focusing on reskilling and upskilling across teams and units, which only 46% of the Indian organizations are currently doing.
Balaji Rajagopalan, Bank Technology Group Head, ICICI Bank, said, “Since 2020, IPA has played a pivotal role in ICICI Bank by augmenting Cx and driving operational excellence. Automation has been a linchpin in the bank’s risk- calibrated growth strategy and has enabled the teams to manage massive upsurges in the volumes of transactions and requests during the pandemic with a consistent throughput time. going forward, IPA will continue to be a vital componentof the Bank’s Technology Strategy #2025 and more teams are expected to turn to automation to bring exceptional value by delivering real-time personalized customer journeys and superior business outcomes.”