ServiceNow Survey Shows 2018 as the Year of Automation for Routine Enterprise Work

Highly automated companies are 6 times more likely to experience revenue growth of 15%+

ORLANDO, Fla.--()--KNOWLEDGE 17 - 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—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 findings include:

Companies are approaching a breaking point and urgently need intelligent automation

  • By 2018, about half of companies (46%) say they will need greater automation to handle the volume of tasks being generated. By 2020, nearly 9 out of 10 companies (86%) will hit that breaking point.
  • More than three-quarters (78%) say data from mobile devices and the Internet of Things contribute to the overload.
  • 94% 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. 87% plan to investigate or use intelligent automation moving forward.

“In a world of smarter homes, cars and commerce, the workplace has been a holdout—but not for long,” said Dave Wright, chief strategy officer, ServiceNow. “The shift to greater automation is coming now to transform everyday work.”

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.

“The financial payoff for automation is one companies can’t ignore,” said Wright.

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

  • Overall only 42% 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 at business process efficiency, while Human Resources (HR) is the worst. HR was named the department “most in need of a reboot.”
  • Specifically, only 37% of HR delivery of employee services are automated and 33% of resolving customer issues are, compared to IT services at 53% automated, leaving room for improvement across the board.

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

  • 79% of execs believe automation could lead to job creation.
  • 87% of execs say 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.

“Automation will bring new economic opportunities,” said Wright. “Companies need to develop and evolve their teams’ skills to help them thrive in an automated world.”

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

  • Nearly half (48%) say that work levels have increased by 20% or more in the last year.
  • 91% of executives say their skilled employees spend too much time on admin tasks.
  • 93% believe that reducing mundane tasks unleashes employee creativity.
  • 82% find it difficult to hire people with skills needed to grow their business.
  • 94% say automation will increase demand for soft skills such as collaboration, creative problem solving and communication.

“Employees feel they’re working a sixth day every week,” said Wright. “Machines can take on the burden of busy-work and free up employees to do the creative, innovative work they crave.”


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

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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Media Contact:
Colleen Haikes, 669-262-2001
Investor Contact:

Release Summary

A new global survey from ServiceNow explores the use of intelligent automation in the workplace today and in the future. Benefits include: productivity, creativity, jobs and economic growth.


Media Contact:
Colleen Haikes, 669-262-2001
Investor Contact: