3 in 5 APJ firms primed to scale up RPA rollout in 3 years

Closes to two-thirds (62%) of organisations in the Asia-Pacific region including and Japan (APJ) will scale up their robotic process automation (RPA) initiatives or achieve an enterprise-wide RPA deployment by 2025, according to a survey commissioned by UiPath.

The IDC APJ Automation Survey 2022 also shows that 91% of the organizations do not have enterprise-wide RPA deployment in place today despite recognizing the importance and benefits.

Conducted between February and March 2022, the survey covered 350 firms with at least 1,000 employees, across Australia, China,  Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.

Across these nine markets, 86% of organisations agree that automation will be a critical requirement for business excellence, customer experience, and competitive success within the next three years.

“While improving operational efficiencies and enriching customer experience have been top of mind for leveraging automation, many organisations also believe that automation is a pathway towards meeting ESG and sustainability goals, which will be a game changer for corporate trustworthiness,” said Michael Araneta, AVP of IDC Financial Insights. 

“However, despite securing these unprecedented benefits, most organisations have been slow in taking the leap into implementing an enterprise-wide automation program due to myriad yet addressable challenges, including finding automation skills and talent, identifying the right automation software, and ensuring robust security and governance,” said Araneta.

Between 2020 and 2021, automation spending has continued to accelerate as 67% of the APJ

organisations have increased spending. The top three business priorities for implementing automation include improving operational efficiencies (63%), streamlining processes (56%) as well as digitising processes and workflows (48%). 

At a regional level, automation is becoming a discussion at the C-suite level, with about one in three (32%) APJ respondents acknowledging that their CIOs and CTOs are leading the automation drive towards enterprise-wide adoption.

Over 90% of organisations in Australia, Singapore, Japan, South Korea and China underscore their shifting focus toward Intelligent Process Automation (IPA). 

Given that the IPA market in APJ is estimated to grow to $5.5 billion in 2025, this highlights the necessity and potential to go beyond RPA to achieve a comprehensive end-to-end process automation at scale. In the next three years, 59% of the APJ organisations will use IPA in over 20% of the total deployments.

However, the talent crunch has become a significant business challenge as many APJ organisations point to the shortage of automation skills and talent (59%) as the top challenge they face in scaling automation. 

As a result, 53% said that the availability of skilled automation talent and strong implementation partners’ support are key when selecting automation solutions, while 50% said they look out for end-to-end enterprise grade solutions with a modern and modular architecture.

Scott Hunter, VP and customer strategy and solutions lead at UiPath APJ, said that to level up their automation initiatives, organisations must elevate their automation mindset by leveraging a holistic strategy with executive buy-in, coupled with a robust employee upskilling and training program to automate at scale in the region.