Do You Need a Chief Automation Officer?

In nearly every industry, automation is creating a clear competitive advantage, as legacy companies work tirelessly to compete with startup disruption. In fact, a 2020 study from McKinsey showed that two-thirds of companies are pursuing business process automation across one or more business units.

For many of these companies, it makes sense to have a c-level role for automation. My recent Forbes post Do You Need a Chief Automation Officer? makes the case for a dedicated executive role or Center of Excellence (CoE) team to spearhead end-to-end process automation efforts across the enterprise. 

For example, a Chief Automation Officer could help: 

  • Design a roadmap for automation projects: This includes setting the scope of a pilot project, measuring its success, and deciding how to prioritize future automation projects based on their impact. 
  • Get cross-functional buy-in: Think of this executive as the champion for automation in the company. They understand both the business requirements and technical specs for automation, and can help translate these needs across teams.
  • Create an Automation Center of Excellence (CoE): A CoE can help codify best-practices around automation, and can share the responsibility for new automation projects rolling out in the organization.


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