A new survey shows the impact of COVID-19 on the adoption and investment of automation

Aug 17, 2020 | Frankfurt, Germany

We are experiencing a significant digital transformation growth in the past few months compared to the past five years.

This is also shown in the recent survey based on 160 decision-makers at the manager level or above from operations groups, shared services, finance/accounting, and other lines of business from the United States, Europe, and Japan “The Future of Work: A Pandemic Spotlight” carried out by Forrester Consulting on behalf of our RPA technology partner UiPath.

The Growth of Automation Investment 

The acceleration of digital transformations created a surge in automation investment. 

The spending on Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology changed drastically during the COVID-19 pandemic its looming recession and for the next year to come.

  • 48% of respondents said their organizations are increasing their spend on RPA in the next year by 5% or more
  • 31% of the respondents said their organizations had increased their spend on RPA by 5% – 10% or more in the past three months

Priority around RPA-enabled Digital Workforce

Organizations use RPA on: 

  • Business model resilience 83% use RPA to build agility, diversity, and strength into supply chain operations. 80% use it to reduce costs from back-office and operational tasks
  • IT 79% use RPA to support IT tasks
  • Customer service 72% use chatbots. 76% use RPA to emerge self-service channels.

Workforce and Employee Experience

  • 57% of employees feel moderately anxious or more towards the digital skills required during COVID-19. 

More and more decision-makers think monitoring employees’ anxiety should be required. 

To be future-ready and to successfully manage the change from automation within the organization, it’s vital to invest in the workforce’s education and tailor the learning to cater to different needs.

  • More than half of the respondents said the most successful activity post-COVID-19 was keeping technology current and provide digital and machine skills training.
  • Almost 90% said new formal work certifications/vocations for different levels of automation aptitude with graduation ceremonies and certification programs provided by partnered technology vendors have beneficial effects


Notable growth invested in automation shows that automation is used to solve the pandemic’s challenges and its looming period. Meanwhile, change management and digital working skills, e.g., AI, RPA, agile working, are to be accelerated, including relevant training and employees’ wellbeing to successfully deploy automation solutions and welcome the future of work.

The study can be found at 


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