Just under half (49%) of businesses in Australia are planning to automate business practices over the next 12 months, according to data from the Grant Thornton International Business Report, this number is only slightly behind the global average (56%).

Automating business practices facilitates productivity and efficiency, empowering people to focus on the tasks that add real value to their clients’ growth, stated Matthew Green, Digital Advisory Partner, Grant Thornton Australia.

“The findings suggest that opportunities will arise for workers to assume new roles and responsibilities created through an increasing use of technology. More than half (65%) of automating firms expect to redeploy workers in other areas, with 22% saying that workers will be trained to operate new machinery.

“The vast majority of these companies are looking to automation to lower long term costs, but just under half want to free up key staff for higher-value-add tasks, while only a third expect this automation to lead to job losses.

“In this digital age, businesses are looking to technology at an ever increasing pace. Post-financial crisis, firms continue to strive for greater efficiency, better productivity, and increased customer focus, and automation is a way to achieve this goal. In particular cloud based software and services are making investment in automation technology more affordable for mid-size businesses.

“No industry is immune from automation. Increased dialogue between governments, businesses and education institutions will help us better understand where gaps in the labour market will exist, to ensure we have a pipeline of people being educated and trained to fill those roles and be able to manage new and faster ways of working, which are driven by new business models.

 “Businesses adopting automation are implementing new systems, placing greater reliance on third party suppliers and needing to make sense of increasing volumes of data to drive consumer insights and better business performance. In doing so they are changing their risk profile at a rapid pace and emerging risks such as developing the right digital strategy, selecting the best software, managing and securing data are more critical to business performance in the digital age than ever before.

“We’re seeing a significant increase in demand for digital advisory services from mid-size businesses to support sustainable growth in a rapidly changing landscape. We recently boosted our digital advisory capabilities to meet these needs through the acquisition of the Consult Point Group. This will allow us to provide a broader suite of digital growth services to assist mid-size businesses in taking advantage of the possibilities created by progressive digital strategies.

“Automation in the first industrial revolution made us stronger, automation in the second made us faster, and in the third we will have tremendously greater insights. For firms which adopt progressive digital strategies the possibilities are enormous,” said Mr Green.

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For more information please contact:

Karen Kalkaus, National Brand & External Communications Co-ordinator, T +61 7 3222 0343, E karen.kalkaus@au.gt.com