When it comes to automating business processes across your organization, there is no shortage of places to start. From HR to sales and finance to customer support, inefficient approaches to tackling the day-to-day tasks that bog your team down could often be solved with automation. 

Workato and Pulse—an insights platform that conducts research to determine what is truly important to companies across tech—came together to find out the automations IT executives are prioritizing right now…and also the areas where automation solutions aren’t being leveraged. 

Through surveying 100 IT execs, mostly in North America but representing a wide range of company sizes, The State of Automation report gives unique insights into the functions and processes organizations are automating this year, as well as how they are approaching implementation. While crowd favorites like order to cash and PTO requests and approval processes ranked at the top of the list, some extremely powerful use cases aren’t being employed with the same fervor. 

Let’s take a look at a few of the automations that under 50% of surveyed organizations have implemented to see how they could benefit your business. 

20% of organizations have a deal desk that is automating quoting, deal requests and approvals, and booking 

Research from McKinsey found that roughly one-third of all sales tasks have the potential to be automated. Despite a landscape that is ripe to benefit from automation, only 26% of sales organizations have automated at least one business process. 

Opportunities exist throughout the sales process, from lead identification to quoting and post-sale activities, but only 1 in 5 of the organizations surveyed in The State of Automation have a deal desk that is automating quoting, deal requests and approvals, and booking. 

Ultimately, sales processes aren’t as obvious for automation as those in IT or HR, but certain facets of deal management could be a good place to start exploring sales automation. Quoting is a tedious process and one where you do not want human error to get in the way of making a deal. Ensure your quote is coming from a central repository of up-to-date information, reduce the possibility of errors, and speed up a tedious manual process significantly by automating your deal desk.

21% of organizations have automated chatbot-driven help desks 

Although only 21% of the organizations surveyed have implemented chatbot-driven help desks, there’s no question that chatbots will become increasingly popular within the next few years. As AI evolves and chatbots become more human-like, Intellectyx has projected the market size for chatbots to increase to over $1.3 billion. 

When it comes to chatbots, the main hangup is simple: Chatbots aren’t humans, and they can’t respond with the same nuance as humans. The State of Automation found that AI implementation across functions is a top priority for IT execs this year, however, and as AI advances, chatbots will become more conversational and will be able to provide top-level customer service. From increasing lead generation to boosting brand awareness and offering rapid customer support, now is a great time to invest in chatbot technology.

43% of organization have automated app provisioning during employee onboarding

Asana’s 2021 Anatomy of Work Index found that on average, employees toggle between 10 apps 25 times a day to get their jobs done…that’s a lot of apps. 

When an employee begins their journey at your company, they’ll need access to an HRIS, an email platform, messaging apps, project management tools, sales and marketing-specific apps—the list goes on and on, and also varies from person to person. By automating this process, you can grant new employees access faster and manage their access levels more seamlessly. 

App management doesn’t begin and end with provisioning—access evolves throughout an employee’s time with a company and also includes deprovisioning when they leave your organization. By automating these processes and managing application access in one place, you will save time, grant immediate access to the tools your employees need to do their jobs, and increase the security of your applications. 

A director-level respondent in The State of Automation summed up the power of automation in a simple sentence: “It provides process efficiencies that free up time for our staff. This allows them to focus on more complex, value-added tasks.” By expanding your idea of what can be automated, you give time back to your team. If you’re looking to take on some new automation projects, expand your idea of how you can best support your business and consider some of the less-implemented automations above. 

Interested in bouncing automation ideas off of a community of 1,700+ of your business technology peers? Request to join Systematic—the only community for business systems—here

Download the State of Automation.

Sarah Dotson
About Sarah Dotson

Sarah is Systematic's Managing Editor.