- In the next year, nearly two-thirds of IT decision makers expect automation budgets to grow at their companies, according to a survey of 503 U.S.-based IT decision makers published by Inference Solutions. More than one-quarter (26%) of executives expect automation investments to grow by 10% or more.
- With more business processes moving online, three-quarters of IT decision makers say automating more customer support tasks would deliver benefits to their workforce.
- Almost half of executives say their companies are gearing up to invest in automated IT helpdesk solutions. Web chatbots for customer service and in-app chatbot messaging for customer services round out the top automation applications executives are preparing in the year ahead.
In the shift to remote work, an unsurprising 68% of companies say the pandemic accelerated their digital transformation plans "a great deal," according to data from Twilio.
With entire workforces in need of remote tech support, the pandemic put automation at the forefront. Businesses turned to automated IT support and AI-enabled onboarding, leveraging tech to ensure critical processes can move forward.
Though back-office work keeps companies running, it's automation that sits closer to the customer that can help maintain competitiveness, said Geoff Webb, VP of strategy at PROS, in an interview with CIO Dive.
"The way people buy, what they buy, and even what value they get from the things they buy has changed," said Webb. "It's probably not changing back to the way it was, ever, fully. The best place to apply technology to transform what your business does is as close as you can to the place where you meet your customer."
Customizing offers in response to customers and improving their buying experience help connect with consumers as they reassess where they find value. AI can help along in that process, as it can "learn very quickly, down to a very granular level, preferences and needs, and anticipate them," Webb said.