- To contend with hiring shortages, one-third of C-suite executives are turning to automation, according to West Monroe's Quarterly Executive Poll. The company surveyed 150 C-suite executives at companies with annual revenue of at least $250 million.
- Companies are assessing where automation technology can knock off redundant tasks, an area where they've already found early success, according to Mike Hughes, managing partner at West Monroe. Examples include data preparation or vendor payments.
- Nearly seven in 10 executives are planning to increase wages to respond to hiring challenges, while more than half are freeing up geographic barriers in hiring.
The seven in 10 C-suite members planning to increase hiring in the coming quarter will face a constrained tech talent market, a reality that makes automation an attractive asset to boost efficiency.
Job postings for tech occupations in September reached 295,000, according to CompTIA analysis of official data. Unemployment for IT roles was just 2.2%, signs of high-demand for available skilled IT labor.
But automation can't, on its own, empower existing staff to take on new or augmented roles.
"Automation still brings the need to make sure that, if you're freeing up someone's time, that they have the skill sets necessary to do what you're expecting," Hughes said.
The workforce is also aware that with upskilling comes potential career benefits. Six in 10 IT professionals took training or sought certifications in the past year while seeking a promotion or salary hike, according to O'Reilly data.
Automation also needs to overcome adoption barriers to deliver efficiency benefits in the enterprise. Value stream mapping can help determine where the bottlenecks are across company processes, and where automating tasks can deliver the highest impact.
Rather than relying just on automation, Hughes recommends executives grappling with the tightening labor market steer away from pursuing a mix of strategies to attract and retain talent. "It's a balance across these avenues that are available to you," he said.