Most enterprises in Singapore deploy automation to solve manpower issues

Allan Teng, Founder and Managing Director for APAC and Japan at Workato

Automation will be critical in driving productivity and performance for most enterprises in Singapore, according to a report by SGTech, the trade association for Singapore’s technology industry, and Workato, the enterprise automation platform. The State of Digital Automation 2023, explores how automation is creating an impact on enterprises in Singapore.

What were the findings of the survey?

The survey unveiled that digital automation, the application of digital tech to automate business processes and reduce manual and repetitive tasks involving multiple teams, is being entrenched across enterprises, whether large enterprises (LEs) or SMEs, with 83% saying that they have deployed at least one automation solution. Business process management, robotic process automation and iPaaS is the top automations deployed in businesses.

Widening competitive gap

An overwhelming majority (98%) of enterprises saw positive results, like reduced manual work, visibility and access to data, and improved employee experience. The survey revealed that better productivity, cost reduction through reducing manpower needs, and efficiency in product development were top motivations for enterprises to implement automation.

According to IDC, automation solutions can help improve operational efficiency and propel revenue and profit growth. Through improved productivity and financial performance, organizations that automate can be better poised to mitigate the effects of inflation, economic downturn and talent shortages. As organizations reap benefits from deploying automation, organizations who do not automate risk falling behind the curve.

The report further identified the following findings:

  • 81% of respondents intend to automate just as much as last year, if not more, in 2023.
  • 82% of respondents observed results within six months.
  • IT / Engineering, sales and finance functions were observed to reap the most impactful outcomes from automation.

Key strategies to encourage future adoption

Of organizations that have yet to deploy automation, eight out of 10 are intending to start in 2023. However, 36% cited overly technical processes as a roadblock for teams to automate independently. Digital automations are still majority owned by IT departments, according to 54% of respondent enterprises. Enterprises also reported that the likelihood of achieving or outperforming their targets was higher, at 78%, when every department was involved.

To empower non-IT business functions to deliver automation projects, organizations can consider adopting easy-to-build automation platforms and low-code/no-code technologies. A change management program that involves all stakeholders will also be key to driving adoption and successful automation programs that meet departmental automation needs.

What do the findings mean for enterprises?

Yean Cheong, Executive Director of SGTech

“Supporting businesses’ digital transition and strengthening companies’ capabilities through digitalisation will be a key commitment for SGTech. We hope this report will provide valuable insights on the benefits of automation and reinforces enterprises’ decision to persist through their digital transformation journey,” said Yean Cheong, Executive Director of SGTech.

“As economic uncertainty looms and firms deal with ongoing disruptions, it is unsurprising that firms are turning to digital investments such as automation to drive efficiency and plug talent gaps.” said Allan Teng, Founder and Managing Director of Workato, APAC and Japan.

“Automation can help transform entire business processes and reinvent the way we work. We look forward to seeing how firms can tap on Workato’s integration-led automation to drive business outcomes, as the demand for automation increases in Singapore.”

The full report can be viewed and downloaded here.