94% of businesses are open to a robotic future


More than half of businesses embrace robots and believe they would get much further in a scenario where man works together with machine, a study has revealed.

In a global survey by Genfour, 94% of businesses in the UK and US said they either embraced robots or felt a robotic future is inevitable.

Half of the survey’s respondents said between 10% and 30% of their business is immediately automatable.

A third of UK respondents said between 11% and 20% of their business could be automated.

Over half of all respondents said the shift to an automated world will be gradual, taking place over the next two or more years (52%).

>See also: Do you think a robot could replace your job?

Of the UK respondents, 46% embraced the idea of robotics, 47% said it is inevitable and only 7% were scared of robots entering the workplace.

“These statistics show a very different picture from the negative portrayal of the fear surrounding robots and automation we see all too often,” said James Hall, CEO at Genfour.

“Business leaders see automation as a way to increase productivity, reduce repetitive and mundane tasks, and create efficiencies in the back office. It’s our job to elevate the power of automation out of departmental level and into the boardroom.”

IT is the department most committed to artificial intelligence or robotics – or looking for processes to be automated – with half of those surveyed stating either four or five out of five on the commitment scale, followed by operations (43%) and finance (35%).

HR departments were the most polarised in the study, with the highest number of 'no commitment' responses (33%) being offset by the highest number of 'very committed' responses (44%).

The lowest level of commitment was at board level (28%). In every department, belief in the US levels of commitment to automation topped those in the UK.

Construction is the industry with the most aggressive plans to automate, with 50% of respondents stating they have imminent plans in place.

>See also: How robots will transform your workplace

Demographics also impact on views on an automated future. Approximately 60% of the 18-44 year olds surveyed said they embrace automation, compared to 40% of those aged above 44.

Fear of robots taking human jobs was most prevalent among respondents aged 45 to 54 at 9.1%, going down to just 2.3% among 25-34 year olds.

When respondents were asked about the benefits robotic automation would have on their business, productivity and 24/7 availability ranked first and second (62% and 61% respectively), followed by ‘the end of repetitive work’ (58%).

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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