Navigating IT Budgets Amid AI-Boom: Experts Eye Automation Tech

by | Mar 6, 2024

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In an era of increased tech spending, especially in AI, experts emphasize the critical role of strategic investments in automation to streamline operations and make better decisions.

Due to increasing interest in AI-enhanced software solutions, along with ambitions to transform core IT practices via automation, tech spending is on a steep rise — it’s projected to grow 6.8% from last year. This prompts companies to face a critical decision: where to allocate their budgets for maximum return on investment (ROI). According to experts, Robotics Process Automation (RPA) and smart app creation suites represent promising options to gain an edge in business efficiency and innovation going forward.

Strategic investments amid the AI boom

The surging tech spending, expected to reach $5 trillion in 2024, is a direct response to the digital transformation happening across numerous industries. According to Giedrius Gustas, Data and Power Platform Offering Lead at Reiz Tech, automation technologies like RPA, and AI-enhanced app generation suites show promise as investment opportunities for companies.

“RPA streamlines business processes by automating routine tasks that are typically time-consuming and error-prone, enhancing productivity and accuracy. Other notable automation tech includes smart suites that can help you program your own apps. This allows organizations to develop custom solutions, tailoring them to their specific needs. It makes app development really simple and gives companies ample opportunities to innovate,” explains Gustas

Amid the tech wave, businesses are advised to consider investing in areas that directly apply to their needs, rather than spending on generalized AI solutions. “Investing in new technology is a requirement to maintain competitiveness, but in today’s AI gold rush, it is important that these investments are strategically placed with regard to a company’s pain points,” the expert notes.

“Overall, digital transformation, AI, and cybersecurity are some of the main directions where companies should focus their budgets,” advises Gustas. In his view, it’s beside the point to keep pace with the rapid advancements in these fields — companies should rather leverage the technologies to fix chokeholds and enhance their strengths.

RPA represent favorable opportunities for efficiency

RPA can offer practical benefits by automating routine tasks such as invoice processing, customer service, employee onboarding, data migration, and inventory management, enabling businesses to direct their workforce to more pertinent tasks that require human expertise.

“RPA solutions can operate around the clock, significantly reducing the potential mishaps associated with manual processes, as well as minimizing the needed manpower — it enables to effectively downsize from 20 to 5 people. Overall, embracing AI will help cust business costs, while also increasing the quality of work — when done right, it’s a win-win situation,” Giedrius Gustas highlights.

Navigating the challenges of automation

However, Giedrius Gustas cautions against the potential hurdles of automation, such as internal resistance due to fears of losing jobs, and integration complexities, as merging the new solutions with older systems can bring up unforeseen challenges. The expert recommends a phased approach, starting with simple, step-by-step processes.

Adhering to a plan for gradual expansion ensures ease during the familiarization with automation –- “picking a few essential RPA tools and initiating the process gradually will help to mitigate the most pronounced challenges,” Gustas advises.

The expert also warns against overinvestments in areas like in-house IT geared to build highly customized solutions, as these may not yield a worthwhile ROI. “The rapid evolution of technology has opened up lots of affordable and quickly scalable external solutions, rendering investments like in-house IT as outdated. Typically, it is slow, costly, and too scattered to make a compounding difference,” he asserts.

According to Gustas, an emphasis on a calculated approach should be maintained to allocate budgets for developments providing clear benefits in efficiency, innovation, and competitiveness. “While there are lots of alluring tech investment options, one should rather maintain a cool head and stay result-oriented, focusing on what will push a business forward in the day-to-day. Automation fits that role well, with minimal margins for error.”

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