Automation hasn't affected majority of Irish business' job numbers, says survey

  • 58% of Irish businesses using automation tech say it has had no effect on their job numbers, according to a survey by tech consultants Expleo.

    However one in five companies said automation has helped with job growth.The research, carried out by TechPro amongst 143 IT decision-makers across the island of Ireland, was conducted to uncover how Irish businesses are embracing digital transformation. It found that 85% of organisations are now using automated technologies. Three-quarters said it will help employees to focus on business-critical tasks, while a further 73% said that it speeds up processes.

    Expleo’s survey also found that automation is helping businesses to generate revenues, with 60% of survey respondents reporting revenue growth as a result of automated technologies.

    Smart technologies are also on the agenda for Irish organisations, according to the survey. It found that 32% of businesses are currently implementing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) projects; while almost a fifth (19%) say AI and ML are now fundamental to their business. Some 45% of organisations plan to increase their use of AI and ML in the next three years.

    RELATED: Two-thirds of NI employers say lack of skills needed to benefit from automation tech

    Despite the industry-wide shift to digital, Expleo’s research uncovered that IT decision-makers still face barriers to implementing new technologies. The top hurdles cited were lack of in-house knowledge or skills (68%), budget constraints (54%), lack of innovative thinking (37%) and lack of buy-in from senior executives and board members (36%).

    Meanwhile, to handle their digital transformation journey, 56% of organisations are outsourcing the management or support of certain processes to an external service provider.

    Phil Codd, Managing Director for Ireland at Expleo, said: “We are still in the dawn of the digital era, so there is a lot of trepidation around new technologies and the impact they will have on lives and workforces. However, our research shows that technologies such as automation are actually helping to boost job numbers as they require skilled people to run and manage them. It’s not about taking jobs away from people: it’s empowering people to make a greater impact in their roles by letting machines take on the more mundane – but necessary – tasks so humans can concentrate on adding more value to their organisation.

    RELATED: Over 7% of jobs could be vulnerable to automation

    “Digital transformation is taking hold of every organisation on the island of Ireland today and it’s encouraging to see that enterprises are embracing the latest technologies. But it’s not a smooth road to success and technology leaders seem to be experiencing pushback from senior executives and board members, which means they aren’t getting the budgetary sign-off they need for innovation. Technology isn’t well represented on company boards and this is something that needs to change. If businesses are as serious about innovation as they say they are, it needs to be reflected on the board.”

    RELATED: An overview of NI's digital transformation

    Source: Written from press release

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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