Neil Ward-Dutton at IDC event (c) 2023 Jitterbit, Image credit paul clarke photography and automation were top of the agenda for Jitterbit’s annual EMEA MeetUp entitled ‘Integrate to Innovate: What Businesses Need to Know in the Age of Automation’. The global integration company gathered together leading SaaS executives and technologists from across Europe on 21st June for a one-day event in London to discuss the current state of enterprise automation with leading experts and panellists from the US and EMEA.

Amongst the speakers was industry expert Neil Ward-Dutton of IDC Europe. Enterprise Times spoke to Ward Dutton about the subject of his presentation, “Embracing automation strategy, the who, how and why”.

Neil Ward Dutton, VP of automation analytics and AI at IDC Europe.
Neil Ward Dutton, VP of automation analytics and AI at IDC Europe.

A recent IDC worldwide CEO survey found that automation is among business leaders’ top five priorities. The subject is discussed a lot, and we asked Ward-Dutton to define what automation means for businesses today.

He argued that leaders should consider it as having two sides, “One is by thinking about the technology bits and pieces that people should think about when they think about automation. The second is really thinking about it in terms of outcomes.”

He went on to clarify where an automation strategy and an efficiency strategy differ. An automation strategy can deliver more than increases in efficiency for an organisation, though many see it as doing just that. He argues that a centre of excellence can often help to enable and deliver an automation strategy.

However, the approach should not be centralised, only supported by the central centre of excellence. He advocates that business units take responsibility for their automation. He notes, “When you’re talking about a strategic automation investment, ultimately, the ownership of that is not going to be in any one specific place.”

Ward-Dutton also talks about the challenges of automation and has an interesting take on the talent challenge. He concludes with a brief look at a roadmap to deliver an automation strategy and the first step business leaders should take on that journey.


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