The State of Nordic Intelligent Automation
Intelligent automation technologies in the Nordic region are being developed and adopted by industries at a rapid pace. The most advanced Nordic countries have several years of experience with automation. They are now looking at combining this with AI technologies such as predictive analytics or natural language processing. Globally, IA is a $1.5 billion plus business and is forecasted to grow by 60% by 2020. As keen innovators, the Nordic IA communities are getting on board with this trend and are leveraging IA to improve their businesses and the customer experience. We surveyed a number of Nordic organizations and professionals about their current IA strategies and compiled the results to fully understand the current state of Nordic Intelligent Automation. Below are the seven key findings from this survey.
1. Nordic demographic
We began by establishing a demographic of which Nordic countries our respondents were primarily responsible for and operating in. Most respondents were operating in multiple Nordic countries, but Denmark was the most common individual country and the lead in the Nordic region’s automation development. Sweden, Finland and Norway followed closely behind. Iceland, however, had a very low rate of automation operations with only 5% of respondents primarily responsible for this country.
2. Maturity stage
The Nordic region is incredibly varied in the stages their automation projects are in terms of maturity. Most organizations are taking their first steps into automation with 21% of respondents in the implementation stage. At higher maturities, 18% of respondents were at the stage of scaling up and 7% of organizations already described their projects as mature. There is a lot of room to grow Nordic automation projects, with 18% of respondents having no form of automation implemented in their organizations. Significantly, no responses admitted to having failed automation projects.
3. Automation styles
Most companies are implementing more than one specific automation style. This is clear from the results of our survey which shows most Nordic companies are focusing their innovation on process automation, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and workflow automation. Notably, AI received the lowest response with only 16% of companies launching AI initiatives. This is understandable as organizations tend to move onto AI once they have perfected their process automation projects.
4. Reasons behind implementation
Most respondents chose Quality improvement, cost reduction and increased velocity as the reasons behind implementing automation at their organizations. These are the reasons that come up time and time again the best pay-offs for automation projects. Other reasons included flexible scale, headcount reduction, limited skills and re-shoring.
5. What causes failure?
There is no general consensus for what commonly causes failure in automation projects. Instead, there are numerous factors that came up in our survey as responsible for failure. Most respondents blamed resources, executive sponsorship and support for the failings in their projects.
6. The future of automation
Automation processes are frequently implemented in the financial and operational sides of business, the business areas that could be described as repetitive. However, Nordic organizations are looking to move away from these commonly automated business areas and begin to implement automation in areas such as Marketing, Manufacturing, Online education, Administrative processes and IT in the future as they up-scale their automation initiatives.