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Why automation success in the midmarket organization is crucial to its future

Sponsored By: Nintex
Guest IDC Blogger: Maureen Fleming, Vice President, AI and Automation Research
Date: April 2024

As midmarket organizations seek ways to improve efficiency, productivity, and customer satisfaction while reducing operating costs, one of the most effective strategies to achieve these goals is through successful process automation. And the importance of automation success goes far beyond these immediate benefits. It can have a profound impact on your organization’s future competitiveness and growth potential.

The 2024 State of Process Automation in the Midmarket Survey highlights the stark differences between midmarket organizations that are consistently successful in automation and those that are challenged. The survey found that 46% of survey respondents had an increase in their automation budgets in 2024. Of those, Figure 1 shows that automation-successful organizations are more than twice as likely to see increased budgets for automation compared to those that struggle. This increased investment allows successful organizations to continue improving their processes, widening the gap between them and their less successful competitors.

Figure 1: Image of a stacked chart showing results of automation budget increase compared by success ratings.

Automation success acts as a multiplier effect. As an organization improves its business operations through process automation, leadership recognizes the value and allocates more budget to further increase automation levels. This creates a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement and investment. On the other hand, organizations challenged with automation fall further behind, finding it increasingly difficult to compete with their more successful counterparts.

So, what sets successful organizations apart? The survey identified four characteristics:

  1. A focus on automation planning, allocating sufficient resources and supporting tools to the business process management stage, shown in Figure 2.
  2. Well-trained citizen developer programs that empower business teams to support automation projects.
  3. The ability to link automation projects to improvements in financial performance.
  4. Increased budget allocation for automation based on past project success.

Figure 2: Image showing a stacked chart of the results of the adoption of automation planning tools.

Organizations that prioritize these areas are better positioned to reap the long-term benefits of automation. By investing in automation planning tools and skills, organizations can improve project success rates and justify the creation of formal automation programs. Extending automation initiatives to non-technical talent via citizen developer programs creates additional capacity for automation projects, further accelerating the organization’s automation journey.

Establishing and tracking financial performance metrics early on is another critical factor in automation success. By demonstrating the direct link between automation efforts and financial improvements, organizations can create opportunities for greater funding and continued process maturity.

Process automation success is not just about achieving short-term efficiency gains. It is a critical factor in determining an organization’s future competitiveness and growth potential. By prioritizing automation planning, citizen developer programs, linking automation to financial performance, and increasing budget allocation based on success, organizations can create a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement and investment. Those that fail to do so risk falling behind and struggling to compete in an increasingly automated world.

To learn more about what makes an automation program successful, download The State of Process Automation in the Midmarket in 2024. With the insights and recommendations provided in this report, you’ll be well-equipped to get started on the right foot with automation and drive long-term success for your organization.

Source: IDC White Paper, Sponsored by Nintex, The State of Process Automation in the Midmarket in 2024, Doc. #US51901924, March 2024

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