Almost half of UK businesses (46%) increased investment into automation post-lockdown, according to a new report. 

However the nation lags behind the United States (75%), France (68%) and Germany (67%). 

The research, conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of emerging technology consultancy Emergence Partners, surveyed 500 IT decision makers across the US, UK, France and Germany. 

It represents a clear signal from businesses globally that investment in automation is a huge priority, with two thirds (66%) of respondents increasing investment in the technology either significantly or slightly.  

While investment undoubtedly remains strong in the markets surveyed, IT decision makers highlighted several key issues hampering further adoption.  

A lack of in-house technology knowledge & skills (39%) was the chief concern. However, also present was a feeling that businesses lack a strategic approach to technology buying (30%). 

 Other issues focused on difficulty navigating a ‘complex and commoditised automation ecosystem’ (29%) and lack of senior level buy-in, with almost one in four (24%) indicating they’re yet to get the seal of approval from those in charge.  

Further limiting factors came from the vendor landscape, with outdated vendor licensing models (21%) and a lack of consultancy/support from vendors (20%) cited as key concerns. 

David Poole, CEO of Emergence Partners, said: “Technology adoption is truly a non-negotiable feature of the modern workplace, and as these results demonstrate it’s also a top priority for business. However, what is clear is businesses feel somewhat lost when looking to invest, whether that’s due to a lack of appropriate knowledge within their team or a sense of confusion when trying to navigate the vendor landscape.  

“Our whole business model is focused on helping companies address these issues. Whether by diagnosing potential opportunities on the horizon, developing a strategic roadmap for long-term success, or running tech immersion and executive education sessions, Emergence exists to help businesses navigate the new, disruptive world in which we find ourselves.”