May 19, 2020

Samsung: UK has £9.25 Billion Smart Technology Deficit

UK
Technology
Samsung
Finance
Annifer Jackson
3 min
Samsung: UK has £9.25 Billion Smart Technology Deficit

Samsung has released research showing that the UK could lose out on £9.25 billion in the coming 12 months thanks to a large deficit in the uptake of smart technology.

The tech giant’s Smart Society Barometer shows the possible financial impact on the nation if smart technology usage doesn’t increase and includes findings from research conducted with 1,000 UK businesses and 2,500 members of the public.

Andy Griffiths President of Samsung UK & Ireland, said: “The Smart Deficit that we have identified through the Smart Society Barometer should act as a wake-up call for the technology industry and its partners.

“Smart technology adoption is happening and where it is being used most effectively, the benefits are already being felt both by individuals and businesses. If we are to accelerate as a smart society, we need to fully understand how to get the most out of this technology.”

The ‘Smart Deficit’ identified in the Barometer findings is particularly high for UK businesses with research showing a potential £5.6bn impact on the bottom line.

The effect of this is already being felt across all areas of the business community with more than one in four businesses (27 percent) admitting they have lost out on a contract or client because they haven’t had the right smart technology in place.

In the telecoms and utilities sector, this rises to 41 percent of businesses missing out on potential work opportunities and more than one in three companies (37 percent) within the financial sector have admitted to losing work due to their lack of smart adoption.

Findings from the Samsung Smart Society Barometer show that all business sectors understand the benefits smart technology can bring, with UK business leaders stating they believe the adoption of smart technologies could save them an average of £81,000 over the next 12 months.

UK business leaders also cite increased productivity and data access as the key areas where smart technology could help drive efficiencies within their business.

Yet whilst these business leaders understand the importance of smart technology financially - with companies who have begun investing in smart products making an average saving of £75,000 to date - there are several barriers stopping a more rapid acceleration of smart technology adoption.  

IT Managers have revealed that there has been a lack of financial investment and thorough training in the UK, stating that only 11 percent of their annual IT budget is going towards smart technology. Furthermore one in five admit the lack of smart adoption is because it is too time consuming to train people up on new technology.

The Smart Consumer

Nearly one in four people (24 percent) said a lack of understanding of what smart technology is and how it can benefit them as the reason they were not currently investing in it.

These barriers are impacting the savings consumers could make with Britons missing out on up to £3.6 billion by not adopting or using smart technologies to their full potential.

Smart meters and products that allow household equipment to be controlled remotely have the lowest adoption rates (six percent respectively) yet are amongst the products people would most like to invest in the future (at 60 percent and 63 percent).   

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May 28, 2021

Automation of repetitive tasks leads to higher value work

Automation
UiPath
technology
repetitivetasks
Kate Birch
4 min
As a new report reveals most office workers are crushed by repetitive tasks, we talk the value of automation with UiPath’s MD of Northern Europe, Gavin Mee

Two-thirds of global office workers feel they are constantly doing the same tasks over and over again. That’s according to a new study (2021 Office Worker Survey) from automation software company UiPath.

Whether emailing, inputting data, or scheduling calls and meetings, the majority of those surveyed said they waste on average four and a half hours a week on time-consuming tasks that they think could be automated.

Not only is the undertaking of such repetitious and mundane tasks a waste of time for employees, and therefore for businesses, but it can also have a negative impact on employees’ motivation and productivity. And the research backs this up with more than half (58%) of those surveyed saying that undertaking such repetitive tasks doesn’t allow them to be as creative as they’d like to be.

When repetitive, unrewarding tasks are handled by people, it takes time and this can cause delays and reduce both employee and customer satisfaction,” Gavin Mee, Managing Director of UiPath Northern Europe tells Business Chief. “Repetitive tasks can also be tedious, which often leads to stress and an increased likelihood to leave a job.”

And these tasks exist at all levels within an organisation, right up to executive level, where there are “small daily tasks that can be automated, such as scheduling, logging onto systems and creating reports”, adds Mee.

Automation can free employees to focus on higher value work

By automating some or all of these repetitive tasks, employees at whatever level of the organisation are freed up to focus on meaningful work that is creative, collaborative and strategic, something that will not only help them feel more engaged, but also benefit the organisation.

“Automation can free people to do more engaging, rewarding and higher value work,” says Mee, highlighting that 68% of global workers believe automation will make them more productive and 60% of executives agree that automation will enable people to focus on more strategic work. “Importantly, 57% of executives also say that automation increases employee engagement, all important factors to achieving business objectives.”

These aren’t the only benefits, however. One of the problems with employees doing some of these repetitive tasks manually is that “people are fallible and make mistakes”, says Mee, whereas automation boosts accuracy and reduces manual errors by 57%, according to Forrester Research. Compliance is also improved, according to 92% of global organisations.

Repetitive tasks that can be automated

Any repetitive process can be automated, Mee explains, from paying invoices to dealing with enquiries, or authorising documents and managing insurance claims. “The process will vary from business to business, but office workers have identified and created software robots to assist with thousands of common tasks they want automated.”

These include inputting data or creating data sets, a time-consuming task that 59% of those surveyed globally said was the task they would most like to automate, with scheduling of calls and meetings (57%) and sending template or reminder emails (60%) also top of the automation list. Far fewer believed, however, that tasks such as liaising with their team or customers could be automated, illustrating the higher value of such tasks.

“By employing software robots to undertake such tasks, they can be handled much more quickly,” adds Mee pointing to OTP Bank Romania, which during the pandemic used an automation to process requests to postpone bank loan instalments. “This reduced the processing time of a single request from 10 minutes to 20 seconds, allowing the bank to cope with a 125% increase in the number of calls received by call centre agents.”

Mee says: “Automation accelerates digital transformation, according to 63% of global executives. It also drives major cost savings and improves business metrics, and because software robots can ramp-up quickly to meet spikes in demand, it improves resilience.

Five business areas that can be automated

Mee outlines five business areas where automation can really make a difference.

  1. Contact centres Whether a customer seeks help online, in-store or with an agent, the entire customer service journey can be automated – from initial interaction to reaching a satisfying outcome
  2. Finance and accounting Automation enables firms to manage tasks such as invoice processing, ensuring accuracy and preventing mistakes
  3. Human resources Automations can be used across the HR team to manage things like payroll, assessing job candidates, and on-boarding
  4. IT IT teams are often swamped in daily activity like on-boarding or off-boarding employees. Deploying virtual machines, provisioning, configuring, and maintaining infrastructure. These tasks are ideal for automation
  5. Legal There are many important administrative tasks undertaken by legal teams that can be automated. Often, legal professionals are creating their own robots to help them manage this work. In legal and compliance processes, that means attorneys and paralegals can respond more quickly to increasing demands from clients and internal stakeholders. Robots don’t store data, and the data they use is encrypted in transit and at rest, which improves risk profiling and compliance.

“To embark on an automation journey, organisations need to create a Centre of Excellence in which technical expertise is fostered,” explains Mee. “This group of experts can begin automating processes quickly to show return on investment and gain buy-in. This effort leads to greater interest from within the organisation, which often kick-starts a strategic focus on embedding automation.”

 

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