ServiceNow Study shows that 2018 is the Year of Automation for Routine Enterprise Work

ServiceNow Study shows that 2018 is the Year of Automation for Routine Enterprise Work

Singapore companies believe that highly automated companies are 6 times more likely to experience revenue growth of more than 15%

SINGAPORE May 12, 2017 ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW) today released the results of a new report, “Today’s State of Work: At the Breaking Point,” revealing that a majority of organizations have introduced advanced automation in their workplace, and nearly half of executives surveyed say that they’ll require it more broadly by 2018 to cope with rising work volumes. The survey indicated that adding machines to everyday work drives revenue growth, creates new job opportunities and connects employees back to the work they want to do.

The company surveyed more than 1,850 corporate leaders – C-level, VPs, directors and managers (150 from Singapore) in seven countries to evaluate the workload of organizational leaders, the impact and use of automation in common business services and executives’ opinions on the future of work. The survey also evaluated the relationship between organizational automation levels and financial performance.

The Singapore findings include:

Companies are approaching a breaking point and urgently need intelligent automation

·         By 2018, nearly half (48%) of companies say they will need greater automation to handle the volume of tasks being generated. By 2020, nearly 9 out of 10 companies (90%) will hit that breaking point.

·         More than three-quarters 89% say data from mobile devices and the Internet of Things contribute to the overload.

·         97% agree that intelligent automation could increase productivity. This includes artificial intelligence or machine learning to streamline decision making to improve the speed and accuracy of business processes.

·         Over half of those surveyed 54% have started using intelligent automation in one or more business processes. 90% plan to investigate or use intelligent automation moving forward.

“There is no doubt that we are entering into a new era of automation. In a world of smarter homes, cars and commerce, the workplace is set to experience the shift to greater automation. The future of intelligent automation is an opportunity to free employees from mundane and repetitive activities – allowing employees to unleash their creativity, letting them build stronger and more productive working relationships”, said Jimmy Fitzgerald, Vice President and General Manager,
Asia-Pacific and Japan.

More automation delivers financial growth and promises greater productivity

·         Highly automated companies are 6x more likely to experience revenue growth of more than 15% versus companies with low automation.

·         For example, those companies with more than 20% revenue growth are 61% automated on average, whereas those with flat or negative growth are only 35% automated.

“There are economic benefits when companies embrace automation and this is something they can’t ignore,” said Fitzgerald.

Fewer than half of business processes are automated; HR and Customer Service are the worst.

·         Overall only 39% of business processes are automated, and business leaders suffer, spending two full days or 16 hours a week on manual administrative tasks.

·         IT support is the best Purchase order requisitions is the best (51%) at business process efficiency, while Human Resources (HR) Requesting contract review and approval from legal is the worst (15%) is the worst. IT was named the department “most in need of a reboot.”

·         Specifically, only (38%) of HR delivery of employee services are automated and (28%) of resolving customer issues are, compared to IT services at (46%) automated, leaving room for improvement across the board.

Executives believe automation can create jobs despite employees’ fears of job losses

·         A strong majority (84%) of execs believe automation could lead to job creation.

·         With a similar majority (86%) of execs saying that employees are worried that automation will eliminate jobs.

·         The top three obstacles to automation adoption include: Committing the resources (budget and personnel) required, employees’ resistance to change and concerns about eliminating jobs. Committing the resources (budget and personnel) required, too much time required to implement automation, concerns about eliminating jobs.

“Contrary to popular belief, automation will create more meaning jobs and a large majority of Singapore executives understand this. Companies will then need to develop and evolve their teams’ skills to help them thrive in an automated world”, said Fitzgerald.

Adding machines frees up employees to do the work they want to do — spurring creativity

·         Nearly half (46%) say that work levels have increased by 20% or more in the last year
·         90% of executives say their skilled employees spend too much time on admin tasks.
·         95% believe that reducing mundane tasks unleashes employee creativity.
·         86% find it difficult to hire people with skills needed to grow their business.

·         95% say automation will increase demand for soft skills such as collaboration, creative problem solving and communication.

“Employees we have surveyed feel like they are working an extra day a week,” said Fitzgerald. “By introducing intelligent automation into the workplace, employees will be freed up to focus on their passions and deliver creative and innovative work.”


To avoid hitting the breaking point, ServiceNow has recommendations for executives. Start here:

1.    Identify business processes that need improving in HR, customer service, IT or other departments

2.    Map out the critical business services and automate the workloads with intelligent automation

3.    Work with teams to address concerns and provide reassurance for your roadmap

4.    Employ best practices around change management
5.    Develop and evolve the team’s skills to help them thrive in an automated world

Additional Resources
·     Here is an infographic on this survey data.

·     See the prior surveys for additional insight to these themes: from 2016,“Today’s State of Work: The Service Experience Gap and from 2015, Today’s State of Work: The Productivity Drain.”

Survey Methodology

ServiceNow commissioned Lawless Research to design and conduct a study about the state of work in companies with 500 or more employees. The 10-minute online survey was fielded between March 20 and April 7, 2017, in Australia, France, Germany, Mexico, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S. A total of 1,874 executives (who are responsible for managing all or part of the company) completed the survey. Survey Sampling International provided respondents from their B2B panel. Tests of significance were conducted at the .01 level (99% probability that the difference is real, not by chance).

About ServiceNow

Your enterprise needs to move faster, but lack of process and legacy tools hold you back. Every day, thousands of customer requests, IT incidents and HR cases follow their own paths—moving back and forth between people, machines and departments. Unstructured. Undocumented. Unimproved for years. With the ServiceNow System of Action you can replace these unstructured work patterns of the past with intelligent workflows of the future. Now every employee, customer and machine can make requests on a single cloud platform. Every department working on these requests can assign and prioritize, collaborate, get down to root cause issues, gain real-time insights and drive to action. Your employees are energized, your service levels improve and you realize game-changing economics. Work at Lightspeed. To find out how, visit

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