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Workato 2022 Predictions: The year enterprise automation reshapes business operations and creates new roles

vmblog predictions 2022 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2022.  Read them in this 14th annual series exclusive.

The year enterprise automation reshapes business operations and creates new roles

By Carter Busse, CIO at Workato

It would be modest to say enterprise automation is a valuable tool in the arsenal of business operations, but in 2021 it really proved its worth. Earmarked by a surge in adoption that saw nearly one-third of enterprises using automated processes in five or more departments, up from 15% in the previous year, it's clear that automation has become a company-wide focus. As we enter a new year, where our connected world puts further emphasis on binding us together, we'll see more enterprise automation reshaping digital architectures. Let's talk about what can be done to stay on top of this trend.

Automating operational processes will create more homogeneous teams

The web of applications that companies rely on to keep things running can become a huge headache when you boil down just how many there are. This number is only going to increase too as VCs continue throwing billions of dollars into SaaS apps that they believe will be the next leader in their category. Some of them will be game changers in their own right, but what companies need to focus on is bringing all of these operations across lines of business together. There are hundreds of thousands of operational elements right now that could be automated to connect disparate teams and speed up the business delivery. Organizations across industries are starting to wake up to this reality and they are investing more and more into the platforms that make connecting and integrating operational processes simpler and faster. That's why integration led automation exploded in 2021 and will continue to see increased adoption in the year ahead.

CIOs need to get in front of their architecture

More and more, automations are being driven by business users vs. IT. With the resurgence in no-code/low-code apps and platforms, the typical business user is becoming much more savvy in the world of tech. In 2021, we found that the percentage of users with a business title under the likes of business operations or product management made up nearly 50% of our users. We'll really start to see this trend take off next year, but CIOs must have their architecture designed to meet new requests from these folks. Especially as we see specialized roles like an enterprise automation architect emerge to meet the surge in demand we're experiencing.

It's inevitable that a business user will advocate having a new tool added to a company's tech stack and the CIO will likely hold the responsibility to integrate it. To ensure they are empowering these users in the best way possible without creating self-inflicted chaos, I recommend they follow a GEARS framework: Govern, Enable, Adopt, Run, Scale.

The next hottest role in tech is the Enterprise Automation Architect

Enterprise automation architects will become a significant player in business operations in a couple ways. We're at a crossroads in IT where we can't control everything anymore, yet when something goes wrong, we're left to clean up the mess. We still own the critical foundation systems and all the automations that tie back to them. By hiring for this specialized role, companies allow for more governance around automation so business users are empowered to do more, without sacrificing compliance. This role will also inform purchasing decisions for the company and stop some of the random tools coming in to create a holistic strategy to tighten the web of applications an organization relies on.

What lies ahead for enterprise automation will no doubt be long-lasting and significant business impacts made possible by the groundwork laid in more recent years. I've lived through many tech trends, but nothing stands to be more critical to smoothly running applications, managing data and providing true business value than enterprise automation.



Carter Busse 

Carter Busse, CIO of enterprise automation company Workato, began his career as an IT Associate before forging a path to become Salesforce's 70th employee and first IT leader. As a technology leader in Silicon Valley, he has a proven track record of building technology teams that partner with the business. In his 30-year tenure, Carter has assisted in taking three companies public - including Salesforce - and has served in senior roles for the likes of Salesforce, Cohesity, MobileIron and 8x8. Carter joined Workato in early 2021 and has been integral in uniting business and IT teams through intelligent automation that empowers both verticals to do great work, easily.

Published Friday, January 28, 2022 7:37 AM by David Marshall
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