While slightly below the global average of 56 per cent, Matthew Green, digital advisory partner at Grant Thornton Australia, said the research bodes well for the nation’s businesses, with automation increasing productivity and efficiency.
“The vast majority of these companies are looking to automation to lower long-term costs, but just under half want to free up key staff for higher value-add tasks, while only a third expect this automation to lead to job losses,” Mr Green said.
“Post-financial crisis, firms continue to strive for greater efficiency, better productivity, and increased customer focus, and automation is a way to achieve this goal. In particular, cloud-based software and services are making investment in automation technology more affordable for mid-size businesses.”
Mr Green said no industry will remain unaffected by automation, but he denied this is a bad thing for business or for workers.
"More than half (65 per cent) of automating firms expect to redeploy workers in other areas, with 22 per cent saying that workers will be trained to operate new machinery."
“Automation in the first industrial revolution made us stronger, automation in the second made us faster, and in the third we will have tremendously greater insights. For firms which adopt progressive digital strategies the possibilities are enormous,” said Mr Green.