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Automation a point of difference for APJ companies

by Helen J. Wolf
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According to new research from Workato, the enterprise automation platform, there has been a massive shift in which departments are using automation tools and creating those automations.

The company’s second annual Work Automation Index focused on trends that have shaped automation over the past year.

At a time when the world is changing rapidly, and our ways of working are constantly evolving, the researchers find that automation has become a great equalizer, creating an opportunity to be more efficient and deliver better business outcomes.

As a result, Workato discovered that the role of IT has shifted from delivering projects to facilitating the business. Overall, 66% of organizations now have five or more departments using automation, and the number of organizations with seven departments automating has nearly tripled since 2019.

Automation a point of difference for APJ companies

Workato CIO Carter Busse said, “It’s amazing to see IT teams become the less dominant automation makers within organizations. This shows that business users can safely create automations with the right guardrails, good governance, and tools.

“From Finance becoming the most automated department to HR recognizing the value of automation to help improve the employee experience, we will continue to see this kind of growth and adoption as automation becomes more accessible to all departments.”

Worldwide, companies are leveraging the power of automation. For the APJ region, financial automation is a key focus, with record-to-report growth of 569% over the past year and procure-to-pay growth of 514%.

The customer support business is a major growth area for automation in APJ. As the retail industry continues to migrate online, the region is turning to automation to meet customers’ ongoing need to return items easily. Returns and refunds automations have increased by a whopping 1005% for our user base in APJ.

Departments outside of IT are automating more than ever before. The number of organizations with seven automation departments has almost tripled since 2019. 23% of automations were built by non-technical users in operational functions, the highest of all personas in business and IT.

Finance has risen to the top as the automated department. The finance departments, surpassing IT for the first time, accounted for 26% of all automations. Order-to-cash remains one of the most important automated processes, with record-to-report automation also showing significant growth, with an increase of 290%. In the APJ region, the two most computerized processes are record-to-r, report, and procure-to-pay.

HR automation remains a focus, with recruitment automation growing at 316%. As competition for top talent continues and working from anywhere becomes the norm, HR teams use automation to stand out from the start and imprusemployee experience.

Data creates a way for IT to add strategic value to the business. Companies are striving to become more data-driven and use their datstriveal-time decisions. The DataOps feature is one of the top divisions, with 3x growth in automations in the last year.

Massimo Pezzini, Workato’s Head of Research, Future of the Company, said: “Business leaders increasingly recognize that ubiquitous use of automation technology leads to improved efficiency, greater business agility, faster innovation and shorter time to value.

“As a result, we are seeing a fundamental shift in the how and business decision makers areembracetomation tools. A businesdecision-makersrted democratized model will become the dominant approach to automation over the next five years.”

Designed to discover the workflows used and the role automation plays in departments and functions, the 2022 Work Automation Index analyzed 900 medium-to-enterprise Workato customers using automation in their business.

The team looked at all automated workflows created at these companies from February 2021 to January 2022 and compared them to those from February 2020 to January 2021 for year-on-year trends.

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