Chief Content Officer,
Techstrong Group

A survey of 866 IT decision-makers and business leaders at organizations with more than 250 employees finds 94% see process orchestration accelerating digital transformation with 90% planning to increase their automation investments in the next 24 months. However, the survey also finds more than a third (34%) reporting that budget issues have become a major digital transformation roadblock.

Conducted by Regina Corso Consulting on behalf of Camunda, a provider of process orchestration platform, the survey also finds more than half (52%) have not reached the level of maturity needed to achieve end-to-end process automation and only 22% have incorporated it across their entire organization. More than half (56%) said while they have a lot of automation in place, there is no good way to control it all.

Well over (58%) also noted a disconnect between IT decision-makers and business leaders around their processes persists within their organization, the survey finds.

Nevertheless, 91% said business increased in 2023 because of investments in automation, with 79% noting their organization has moved beyond fixing what is broken to focus more on strategic processes that create tangible business value.

The survey makes it clear most organizations fine tuning processes as they continuously expand digital business transformation initiatives, says Camunda CEO Jakob Freund. Most of these organizations are making steady progress but there’s still much work to be done, he adds. “This is the end of the beginning,” says Freund.

Overall, the survey finds on average 50% of organizational processes have been automated but 51% also noted there has been an increase in complexity caused by processes spanning multiple systems. Nearly two-thirds (62%) said legacy technology is standing in the way of achieving their hyper automation and automation fabric goals, with 39% noting legacy systems are difficult to connect.

In addition, 86% also said they need better tools to manage how their processes intersect, with 61% agreeing they lack the visibility into processes needed.

Each organization will need to determine for themselves what processes to automate but it’s clear given previous investments in IT platform digital transformation requires perseverance. Few organizations can afford to entirely replace existing legacy systems so any approach to modernizing processes requires an ability to extend those platforms. The challenge is many of the applications running on those systems don’t even expose an application programming interface (API) through which data can be exchanged with other processes running on other systems.

In theory at least, advances in artificial intelligence (AI) should soon accelerate digital business transformation initiatives but many organizations will need to spend the bulk of these years centralizing data management workflows to train AI models. Far too much of the data that exists in enterprise IT environments today is either conflicting or simply wrong. Once those AI models are constructed, IT teams will need to find ways to orchestrate the automation of the processes that will be increasingly infused with AI.

In the meantime, Digital CxOs can take comfort in the fact that most of them are encountering the same challenges. The issue now is determining which issues to tackle first based on the financial impact those efforts might return to the business in, hopefully, as little time as possible.