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How businesses are striving to become more data-driven

Finance, customer support, and marketing automation have become the biggest focus areas for businesses while IT has seen a greater shift to digital security solutions.

Businesses are seeing a massive shift in the way they are using automation tools and creating those automations, according to the second annual Workato Automation Index.

About 66% of businesses now use different functions of automation to improve their business processes. Workato discovered that the role of automation had shifted from delivering projects to being an enabler across small businesses to large organisations.

“This demonstrates that when you have the right guardrails, the right governorship, and the right tools in place, business users can create automation safely,” Carter Busse, CIO at Workato, said.

“From finance becoming the most automated department to HR seeing the value in automation to help improve the employee experience, we’ll continue to see this type of growth and adoption as automation becomes more accessible across businesses.”

“In today’s world, customers are digitally native and their expectations are higher than ever, more and more services have moved online, and employees are distributed. You need a high level of speed, scale, and productivity for business transformation.”

This year’s report identified that financial automation was a big focus with record-to-report processes growing 569% in the past year, and procure-to-pay growing 514%. There was also greater demand for automation for processes like insights and analytics, which has grown 403% in the past year.

Customer support operations were a big automation growth area for businesses. As retail continues to migrate online, the region was turning to automation to meet the ongoing need for customers to easily return items. Returns and refunds automation increased by a massive 1005%, according to the report.

As the competition for top talent continues and work from anywhere becomes the norm, HR teams are using automation to stand out and improve the employee experience right from the start. As a result, recruiting automation grew 316% over the past year.

Meanwhile, IT service management automation continued to grow as it saw a greater focus from businesses on digital transformation in data and security processes.

“Especially as businesses become more digital and continue to add and expand services, IT operations are critical for managing the health and security of the infrastructure that supports business services and determining how software should be managed,” the report said.

“Data creates a way for IT to add strategic value to the business. Businesses are striving to become more data-driven and to use their data to make real-time decisions. The DataOps function is one of the top departments with 3x growth in automations in the past year.

“Reducing errors, monitoring applications, and improving cyber security and governance through automation is important as business users have more access to technology through SaaS and low code/no code platforms.”

Massimo Pezzini, Head of Research, Future of the Enterprise at Workato said business leaders increasingly recognise that pervasive use of automation technology leads to improved efficiency, greater business agility, faster innovation, and shorter time to value.

“Consequently, we’re seeing a foundational shift in how IT and business decision makers are embracing automation tools. A business-led, IT-enabled democratised model will become the dominant approach to automation over the next five years.”

“As we’ve seen in this year’s data, automation is not just for IT departments or developers anymore. As more and more employees become aware of the strategic and tactical benefits of enterprise automation, adoption across a growing number of businesses will continue.

“We expect that the use cases and workflows automated will continue to diversify in the coming year, and that business technologists will continue to drive significant automation growth.”

Source: Business Australia

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