Businesses deploy automation technologies to help drive their sustainability initiatives, said UiPath recently when releasing results of a survey.
The IDC-led survey of 800 global executives commissioned by UiPath found that 54% of organisations are already using enterprise automation technologies to help implement sustainability initiatives and another 24% plan to do so in the coming two years.
The study also shows that organisations which have established intelligent automation practices are also more mature in terms of their sustainability efforts, UiPath added.
Sustainability—viewed by IDC through a triple-bottom-line lens of maximising benefits to, and minimising negative impacts on, the economy, society, and the environment—is a leading priority for organisations. Yet significant cost and complexity challenges make progress difficult.
Sustainability is a major strategic priority for businesses, and organisations the world over are moving quickly to define sustainability goals and incentives, said Neil Ward-Dutton, Vice President of Automation, Analytics, and AI at IDC Europe.
“However, when it comes to operationalising sustainability initiatives, there are significant business and technology challenges that make progress difficult,” he noted.
With automation's ability to increase an organisation's agility, efficiency and speed to value, enterprise automation platforms and practices can help address many of these challenges, and have strong roles to play in unlocking the potential of sustainability initiatives, Ward-Dutton said.
- Global executives noted that the top drivers for their sustainability initiatives were operational efficiencies and cost savings (40%), and enhanced brand value and trust (33%).
- Additionally, 68% said that they have a board member specifically responsible for sustainability.
- 28% indicated responsible sourcing as their main concern, and 27% reported that both overall energy efficiency and employee well-being, health, and safety were top of mind.
- 35% of respondents indicated that dispersed/siloed resources were the main organisational challenges they faced when attempting to become more sustainable, followed by difficulty identifying appropriate KPIs (33%) and a lack of operational technology (32%).
- Organisations are using automation to extract data more easily from human-readable documents and to source data quickly.
- Another top automation use case for sustainability is process improvement (45%).
- When weighing the benefits automation technologies could bring to their organisations in the future, more than half of all executives indicated the value of enabling workers to do more meaningful work and increasing employee satisfaction as the top potential advantage.
- Other potential benefits included more easily sourcing data (55%); the ability to develop new value propositions, products, and services (53%); and easier understanding of operational performance and improvement areas (52%).