At Workato’s recent first-annual user conference, the company’s CEO Vijay Tella spoke to CIOs and CTOs from Toast, MGM Studios, Grab, Nutanix, and Broadcom about Covid-19’s impact on businesses and the resulting increased reliance on technology—automation included. 

“The truth is, we’ve reached a point where the gradual approach and slow progress is no longer viable. The pandemic has really busted this inertia and business as usual is not an option for most of us,” said Tella. “When you are faced with a revolution in our business environment, we must be all in.” 

In order to capitalize on this inertia, Tella recommended adopting a holistic, 3-pronged approach. Organizational engagement, increased adaptability, and expanded connection are the prongs that will set you up for success, according to Tella. 

Here’s a deeper look into each of the 3 key pillars of the future of automation:

Organizational engagement

In today’s environment, companies need to adopt a people-centric mindset. Enabling all employees to work efficiently, strategically, and effectively in a remote mindset means empowering them with the right tools. 

Low-code/no-code tools allow everyone from business users to developers to modify processes, develop workflows, and create automations. Drag and drop interfaces create a user-friendly environment that puts the power into the hand of the user while saving your IT department time and resources. The need for remote work has given rise to the role of the citizen developer—Gartner predicts that by 2024, 65% of application development will be completed through low-code tools. 

“Automation is now part of operations,” says Andy Nallappan, CTO of Broadcom. “It has to be a part of each process and each team.”  

Empowering all users, not just those with a technical background, promotes autonomy and reduces friction and backlogs. Promoting organizational engagement with automation puts your company on the fast track to digital transformation. Even without a technical background, your employees can take the initiative to utilize the power of automation to work smarter, not harder. 

Increased adaptability

More than ever, companies are expected  to be resilient and adapt to change at lightning speed. While not all companies are remaining remote, the ability to operate from anywhere at any time has changed companies’ ideas of what is possible and how fully they can adapt to unexpected circumstances. Businesses that are able to adapt quickly to change will be able to pivot and better serve their customers. 

From employees on sick leave to caring for family or inaccessibility to resources, having dependable automated processes and solutions can help businesses quickly address needs without having to rely on human resources. To take it a step further, automation and AI can help monitor incoming data and identify and flag potential issues. 

“We leveraged technology to give us the capability in a very short period of time to move from a physical concentrated call center to a very distributed environment,” says Luiz Enriquez, CIO at Grab.  Having serverless, AI/ML powered processes and workflows enables your company to access data and systems from anywhere, at any time. Increased accessibility is now the expectation for companies, making automation a necessity, not a luxury. 

Expanded connection 

The current IT landscape is flooded with hundreds of SaaS applications designed to make your life easier. There comes a point, however, when the same apps that helped you project manage a huge campaign or close a major deal begin to create more work for you and your team. With this overflow of technology, there is a dire need for tools to be connected in order to streamline and standardize data across applications.

Coherently connecting your applications, synching your data, and sharing processes enables your business to use pre-existing services to react quickly and strategically— you can achieve this through business integration. 

By integrating your applications you help free up the data so that you can access it. One of Toast’s visions is to “create actionable insights and deliver those insights to the right audience at the right time,” says Anisha Vaswani, CIO at Toast. Vaswani explains that this can only be achieved by “creating this underlying architecture that allows [her team] to integrate and aggregate all these disparate sources of signal inputs and deliver actionable insights.”

Watch the full session for more automation insights! 

Mary Hodges
About Mary Hodges

Mary previously worked in IT recruiting and is thrilled to bring her community building skills to the business systems community.