What C-level Executives are Thinking, Planning & Doing About Automation

Recent surveys of business executives show that automation and digital transformation are accelerating. We present summaries of the most recent surveys done by Gartner, Bain, IBM, The Economist and SAP of C-level managers. The surveys show management views and plans for business automation during the near future.


A survey of 150 corporate controllers found that:

The October 2020 survey of 153 CFOs showed that the Covid Pandemic shifted priorities in their organizations towards digitization. For example, the majority are planning to invest more time in digital analytics and Robotic Process Automation as the chart shows.

Source: Gartner 2020


“A recent Bain survey of IT buyers shows that more than 80% of companies are accelerating their automation initiatives in response to Covid-19 (see Figure 3). Yet if history is any guide, fewer than 50% of these companies will achieve their automation performance goals.”


Some of the results of the IBM survey of over 1,000 executives at 33 organizations who deployed Virtual Agent Technologies are shown below.

Virtual Agent Technology (VAT) includes Chatbots, IVRs (Integrated Voice Response) which use Artificial Intelligence (AI) , Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to automate the interactions between customers and the business organization.

The results of using VAT are encouraging.

Source: IBM

This is why most organizations are planning to increase spending on business automation.

Source IBM

The Economists

A survey of 502 C-level executives found that “more than nine in ten say their organisation uses technology to automate business processes: 51% confirm extensive use and 40% moderate use.”

Here is the breakdown of where automation is used (% of respondents):

Source: Economist

Here is a breakdown of automation by the technology uses (% of respondents).

Source: Economist

SAP and Oxford Economics

A survey of 1,000 Supply Chain managers found that:

Supply chain leaders are actively deploying technologies to streamline their operations but a third of others have not yet started. The technologies implemented by the leaders are:

Can your business benefit from RPA?

It is clear that automation is a serious consideration for many C-level executives. You may be one of them and are now facing the task of finding what technologies are out there and which one is the best fit for your business.

To that end we analyzed the market and cataloged 100 RPA vendors. Some are established like IBM, Oracle and SAP but most are young companies with exciting new technologies and new approaches.

It is impractical to visit all their websites to determine which ones can deliver the business benefits you are seeking. The effort is further hampered by the amount of marketing fluff that these websites contain. Getting answers to simple questions is not easy. Nearly all vendors want you to fill out forms if you want specific questions answered. This undoubtedly will result in sales people calling you. With 100 vendors this is a non starter.

We created a new way for business managers to discover if RPA can improve their business operations by changing the way products are found

Instead of you looking for a vendor we make vendors find you.

This is how it works:

  1. Describe your interest: Describe which functions you may consider automating and business benefits you’d like to achieve.
  2. Post anonymously: Your requirement is posted anonymously on the 180find portal. No need to tell anyone what you are thinking. No need to deal with persistent sales people.
  3. Vendors make proposals: We invite all RPA vendors to review your post and propose their best solutions which you can review without disclosing your identity.
  4. Communicate with selected vendors: You can communicate with vendors you like without disclosing your identity.
  5. Go off-line if you want: If you find something you like you can take it off our portal and continue with the selected vendors think We save you countless hours of looking for them

The use of the 180find portal is free.

Serial entrepreneur. Founder and CEO of 3 successful high-tech start-ups ( 2 IPOs & 1 sale). Currently active with www.180find.com