Automation is most vital investment priority according to 21% of UK businesses


Automation is due to have a “transformative impact on businesses” in the UK in the coming years as increasing numbers make it a priority.

According to a new report from BDO, which interviewed 200 chief financial officers (CFOs) and financial directors across the UK, nine per cent of their collective budgets are now allocated for investing in automation.

Nearly 90 per cent of businesses have automated a key business process during the last year, while a further 21 per cent view automation as the most important investment priority over the next five years.

READ MORE: 108,000 retail jobs lost to automation and ecommerce since 2011

Artificial intelligence (AI) is also becoming increasingly important, with 31 per cent of businesses already introducing it into day-to-day operations and 24 per cent said they’ve made use of robotics.

Despite 22 per cent of businesses stating that automation threatens job security, 21 per cent believe it will create new jobs.

“Automation is already having a transformative impact on businesses up and down the country,” BDO’s head of technology and media Tony Spillett said.

“How leaders approach it in the coming years will be crucial both for their own businesses as well as society more broadly.

“While some caution is required, particularly given the potential for physical and financial upheaval, all businesses, no matter their size, sector or structure, must come to terms with the role it will play in our future and explore the opportunities it can bring.”

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