Nearly two-thirds of U.K. business leaders in a recent survey expect the Covid-19 pandemic to cause their companies to accelerate automation plans. In other sectors like finance (71 percent) and telecom (73 percent), the survey found an even larger share of executives who predict more automation in the wake of the novel coronavirus.
“Covid-19 has unquestionably accelerated the speed at which businesses are looking to introduce automation technology,” said Charles Towers-Clark, global chairman of software and connectivity provider Pod Group. “With 73 percent of CEOs of the opinion that automation will help employees to fulfill their potential, the COVID-19 crisis has presented an opportunity to build on the change that many employees have already experienced. The results of this survey make me hopeful that CEOs won’t squander this opportunity by reverting back to command and control methodologies but instead will use digitalization and automation to create a better working environment.”
The key driver of automation identified by most survey respondents (34 percent) was cost savings. A reduced dependence on human labor (13 percent) and improved quality of work (13 percent) were also cited. At the same time, however, nearly 40 percent of those polled do not have a clear strategy for how automation can help their business.