Bots are changing the way we work, saving businesses thousands of hours and significant sums per year as they increasingly play a key role in automating key corporate functions, including customer service and data collections.
Despite this, due to the actions of a small number of irresponsible bot users, myths and misconceptions, many business leaders in financial services, tech and IT feel more rules and regulation are needed to keep bots under control.
According to new research, shared exclusively with City A.M. today, nearly half of all organisations in the US and more than a third in the UK think more checks and rules are needed for effective, compliant and, perhaps most importantly, responsible bot usage.
Most US and UK organizations that utilize bots have developed clear compliance-driven guidelines to ensure they are used responsibly, web data provider Bright Data found, which surveyed US and UK decision-makers from financial services, IT, and technology organizations.
In the US, 48 per cent of those surveyed say they have guidelines in place to moderate all uses of bots, while another 48 per cent indicated they have guidelines relating to some uses of bots. In the UK, these figures are 57 per cent and 40 per cent respectively.
However, 45 per cent of US organizations and 33 per cent of UK organizations stressed they actively want to see increased external regulation of bots.
Most common uses of bots
The positive impact of bots in a growing number of industries illustrates the rising demand for this technology tool. Almost all (95 per cent) of organizations surveyed plan to expand their automated functions, and with that bot usage, in the next two years.
The survey reveals the most common uses of bots in corporate environments. Customer service topped the list, with 76 per cent of organizations utilizing bots to deal with customer queries and feedback.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the increased role of data-driven decision-making in many businesses, data-related applications are the second most common use of bots across both geographies. 69 per cent of UK and 48 per cent of US respondents report using bots for this purpose.
Of organizations which use bots to retrieve data insights, 66 per cent report occasionally using an external provider, whilst 8 per cent of surveyed IT leaders report that their organization does not outsource operations carried out by bots to third parties.
The other common uses of bots revealed in the survey include cybersecurity (51 per cent), the automation of backend tasks (35 per cent), automated trading (23 per cent) and social media engagement (22 per cent).
The future is here
Discussing the findings with City A.M. today, Bright Data’s chief technology officer, Ron Kol, said “bots are no longer just a futuristic ambition.”
“It’s clear that they are now playing a crucial role in driving the real-time economy forward. Bot usage has been growing rapidly in recent years and this research highlights the rising number of use cases for this vital technology,” he shared.
To Kol, it’s no surprise that bot usage is growing fast within the data sector.
“For this to be both effective and sustainable, organizations need to be responsible when collecting public web data or choosing a compliant third-party to do this for them, this includes advocating for increased global regulation.”
“Given that the bot space is so fast moving, outsourcing bot operations makes it even easier for financial services, IT, and technology organizations to focus on what they excel at and leave the bot management to the professionals,” Kol concluded.