A new report that examines the state of automation technology in the shared services market acknowledged its effect on cost, speed and quality of work, but said its true value will only be realized when processes relying on unstructured data are easily automatable.
The State of Intelligent Automation Global Market Report H1 2022 from shared services network SSON found cost efficiency and effectiveness are the top strategic targets for shared services providers, making automation’s ability to drive down cost and reduce errors a must-have. And for these kinds of companies, the survey found, most identified solving specific pain points and “targeting low-hanging fruit” as the top ways they are leveraging intelligent automation.
To move beyond this state, however, businesses must be able to digitize unstructured data. More than half of companies polled indicated they are capturing and processing between zero and 50 percent of their unstructured data. Only 3 percent say they are capturing and processing all of it.
“The biggest opportunity for IA this year is the transition we are witnessing from structured to semi-structured and unstructured data processing,” the report said. “While structured data processing has dominated early iterations of automation [think RPA], most enterprise data is still unstructured – thus limiting automated workflows. As a result, and building on the wins so far, we are now seeing a rise in demand for semi-structured and unstructured data processing solutions to optimize automation’s full potential.”