Automation makes everyone’s lives easier, right? At first glance, you would think so. A recent survey of IT, business, and financial operations professionals from Thirdera shows 83% of workers in these fields use these technologies daily: AI-powered search, chatbots, self-service portals, mobile apps, AIOps, business intelligence, and dynamic scheduling tools.
Automation and Productivity
When they undertook the survey, Thirdera assumed the workers would mention that these tools positively impacted their productivity, and indeed, 69% of survey respondents said their productivity increased substantially by using these technologies. And 34% said ROI from the use of these tools was achieved in less than three months, 41% said 3 to 6 months, and 89% achieved ROI in less than a year
“These tools are tailor-made to automate employee workflows and improve productivity,” says Jason Wojahn, CEO of Thirdera.
Striking an Automation Balance
However, the research showed not every company has a workflow automation strategy—or even wants one—35% thought their organization’s approach to “service management”—defined as the process by which employees in IT, business, and financial operations respond to requests from colleagues or customers—was outdated or a little “behind the times,” suggesting that the use of modern tech tools have a ways to go before they reach an inflection point. Plus, 48% said the technologies were too expensive, and 38% said the customers they’re serving with these technologies would prefer more human-to-human contact. Also, 32% said the tools malfunction frequently, and 26% said they’re hard to learn.
But, Thirdera says what was most eye-opening was that 63% of respondents were concerned their company’s use of these technologies will someday make their job functions less relevant.
“The purpose of this survey was to validate our assumption that modern tech tools are improving employee workflows and productivity, which they clearly are,” says Wojahn. “What we also learned is that workers still have reservations about these tools, which means service providers like Thirdera have more work to do.”
Taking the Long View on Automation
When asked what advice they have for businesses considering using these technologies, 36% of respondents say companies should adopt them aggressively, and 33% say they should adopt them cautiously. When asked what impact a modern service management strategy, including more automation around key tasks and business processes, would have on their companies, 43% say it would lead to better employee satisfaction, and 42% say it would increase customer satisfaction.