Research by Alchemmy shows some two-thirds (63%) of UK CEOs have no idea which parts of their business are most profitable. Its survey of 1,000 senior UK business leaders highlights serious lack of awareness among respondents of how intelligent automation (the integration of emergent technologies such robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning) can help businesses improve understanding of profitability and performance.


Some 90% of companies substantially changed operating models in the wake of the pandemic, and a third transformed completely. Understanding what is happening in a business and having access to strong performance data is more important than ever, especially as leaders consider whether pandemic changes are here to stay.


Intelligent automation can provide real-time insights on profitability and efficiency. While 75% of businesses acknowledge the importance of artificial intelligence in a technical strategy, only 25% believe intelligent automation is a “game changer” in understanding current performance. This comes as 42% of CTOs see shortage of talent as the main obstacle to implementing intelligent automation in their business, and 36% of CEOs see upskilling and professional development of existing workforce as the most significant adoption barrier.


Corporate Digital Responsibility is also a major senior management concern. The significant majority (82%) of respondents said digital responsibility and ethics are essential to their firms technology strategy.


Throughout the report, Alchemmy highlights how the skills challenges associated with intelligent automation can be addressed. Alchemmy argues a strong intelligent automation approach is crucial to attracting the best talent. The consultancy also examines how an intelligent automation strategy can also be an ethical one.


Rob Price, Director of Alchemmy, said: The pandemic forced businesses to pivot their operations rapidly. But without the latest data on profit margins, how can business leaders make informed choices about which changes to keep and which to wind back? Intelligent automation can equip firms with those real time insights: it is a real game-changer.


Unfortunately, there is a clear and widespread knowledge gap, and many leaders require urgent support to realise the technology’s potential. Addressing education and training challenges around intelligent automation should be part of many post-pandemic recovery strategies – and this must take place alongside scrupulous digital ethics. Indeed, tech that is both smart and ethical is essential if businesses want to unlock their key revenue streams, attract the best talent, and improve their bottom line.


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