Future roles: Will Chief Automation Officers soon enter the C-Suite?

Businesses across myriad industries are adopting automated enterprise technology. Why? Traditional operational workflows are no longer sustainable, according to recent research from Service Now. An estimated 86 percent of companies worldwide will hit their automation breaking points within three years, the software company found. This sea change will not only affect ground-level operations but also the executive suite. In fact, the continued rise of automation is likely to yield a new leadership position: chief automation officer.

Some organizations have already carved out similar roles, according to Gartner. For example, many manufacturing firms have chief robotics officers – technical specialists tasked with overseeing automated processes dependent on industrial-grade robots. Analysts for the technology research firm predict that 10 percent of businesses with robust production and supply chain operations will staff CROs by 2020.

"Eighty-six percent of companies worldwide will hit their automation breaking points within three years."

The CAO would, theoretically, take over some of these duties, along with the management of automated processes in other business divisions, such as information technology. An estimated 60 percent of organizations consider automated IT processes crucial, according to survey data from Tech Pro Research. Automation is expected to have an impact on human resources, the Society for Human Resource Management reported. Of course, departments like accounting and marketing will also require guidance from the CAO, as both offer ideal use cases for the technology.

When might the CAO role become reality? Automation adoption trends suggest that it could happen sometime soon. As organizations adopt holistic automated approaches, many will look for business leaders who have the technical understanding and executive experience needed to drive enterprise automation from the top down. Businesses can prepare for this inevitable C-level shake up by working with an executive recruitment firm like YES Partners. Our seasoned executive search consultants can help forward-thinking businesses establish long-term recruitment pipelines and sustainable recruitment strategies.

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