Optimizing customer acquisition and retention was a key reason for 800 firms responding to the research on intelligent automation.

When virtually any business workflow can be automated, what do enterprise executives consider to be the most important and deliver the greatest value?

This was one of the many questions about automation in a global, multiple-choice survey conducted in June 2021 across a total of 800 respondents from multiple industries from AMS, Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and the Asia Pacific region (APAC).

According to the data, respondents were focused on the following high-value customer, operational and financial workflows: 

  • 85% – Accounts payable automation  
  • 84% – Transaction processing
  • 83% – Bank statement processing  
  • 83% – Document security management  
  • 82% – Invoice processing automation  
  • 78% – Onboarding  
  • 78% – Other 
  • 77% – Digital mailroom automation  
  • 77% – Claims processing  

Enterprises in the survey were prioritizing these workflows for a variety of reasons, from improving the customer experience to driving better decision making. Specifically, respondents indicated that automating these functions was providing the following benefits:

  • 94% – Optimizing customer acquisition and retention 
  • 93% – Running the business  
  • 93% – Maximizing the value of IT investments 
  • 93% – Improving customer engagement across multiple channels  
  • 83% – Ensuring compliance, data management and security 
  • 82% – Enhancing employee productivity and satisfaction 
  • 77% – Transforming back-office operations 
  • 77% – Gaining customer insights through data analysis 

The study also detailed the high-value workflows that yielded the greatest returns on investments, the challenges organizations need to overcome to automate these high-value processes; and the progress enterprises were making in their digital transformation efforts.

According to Kathleen Delaney, Chief Marketing Officer, Kofax, the firm behind the survey: “At a moment when virtually all companies agree digital workflow transformation is key, we wanted to understand where they’re focusing their priorities, and what types of automation yield the greatest benefit. Having these insights will help executives apply their limited time and resources more intelligently.” 

The digital-first business environment has exposed a chasm between companies that have transformed through automation and AI and those companies that are still weighed down by an analog business culture, according to the firm.