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IT Decision Makers Will Increase Investments in Automation as a Result of Covid-19, Finds New Study by Opinion Matters and Inference Solutions

By CIOReview | Tuesday, July 21, 2020
San Francisco, CA - Nearly two-thirds of US IT decision makers plan to increase their investments in automation technology over the next year as a result of Covid-19, noting that intelligent self-service has been key to remaining agile during the crisis. These are some of the findings from a new survey conducted by market research firm Opinion Matters and commissioned by Intelligent Virtual Agent (IVA) platform provider Inference Solutions.

The study, Intelligent Automation Post-Covid, explores how IT leaders in mid-sized businesses and enterprises across eight industries are evolving their digital strategies in the wake of the pandemic, and how they have used automation to tackle challenges driven by shutdowns and social distancing. Significantly, 71% of IT decision makers agree that intelligent self-service automation has helped their organizations remain agile, and 64% expect to increase automation investments over the coming year as a result of the crisis. More than a quarter (26%) of organizations will increase their investments by 10% or higher.

When asked which automation technologies and practices they expect to play a significant role in their organizations' resilience over the next two years, 69% of respondents selected customer service automation, 54% chose employee service automation, 39% named supply chain automation, and 37% flagged Robotic Process Automation. Increasing employee efficiency and productivity topped the list of priorities in respondents' automation strategies, followed by reducing costs and improving the ability to meet customer demands.

Three-fourths of respondents agree that tools that allow them to build and manage their own applications are also key to their automation strategies. Additionally, the survey identified cost, reliance on professional services due to implementation complexity, and time to development as the top three barriers to adopting automation solutions.

"Cloud-based, self-managed platforms that give businesses more control of their customer-and employee-facing self-service applications will be key to overcoming the barriers to adoption flagged in our research," said Callan Schebella, Inference Solutions CEO. "We are pleased to see that IT leaders plan to use automation not only to lower operating costs, but to better support their employees as they navigate the challenges of doing business in a post-pandemic world."

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