Automation has long been seen as a cornerstone to business process improvement. While companies have made great strides in automating processes in areas such as customer service, human resources and finance, plenty of room for further automation remains.
For instance, 79 percent of respondents to a recent CIO Insight survey say their customer service processes could become "more automated" or "much more automated."
A major technological hurdle to process automation, say 62 percent of survey respondents, is data integration. Interestingly, 49 percent of respondents say their companies are looking to replace older enterprise applications with SOA. That number rises to 57 percent at companies that pegged data integration as a problem.
These CIO Insight results match up nicely with a recent ebizQ survey in which respondents selected business process optimization as one of their top three goals driving SOA initiatives (behind business agility and reuse of code).