3 automation trends to look out for in 2022 (based on our research)

The pandemic has propelled organizations to evolve how they approach automation and in many cases, accelerate their initiatives.

When studying the automations that roughly 700 of our clients have built over the course of the pandemic, we uncovered the following (and a whole lot more): a growing number of individuals across an increasing number of roles are building automations; more departments now automate; and business communications platforms—like Slack—are often included in automations in order to alert or engage with users.

We believe these recent shifts will only continue through 2022, and as such, there’ll be significant implications for everyone impacted—from employees to customers to prospects.

With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at what you can expect in 2022.

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Wondering what else we found from our research?

You can read our W*rk Automation Index to uncover all of our key findings.

Read our W*rk Automation Index

IT & business will continue to shift roles within automation development 

It’s increasingly clear that if organizations want to scale and drive meaningful returns from their automations, they’ll need to treat the process of building them as an org-wide initiative. 

Case in point: Based on our 2021 research, nearly half of all automation builders work outside of IT. 

A pie chart that breaks down the distribution of automation builders

As low-code technologies like Workato’s continue to grow in adoption and as IT becomes more comfortable in creating governance models that give users within lines of business a bigger role in building automations, we expect the distribution of builders to skew even more heavily towards business teams. 

IT will continue to play a key role in the process, but instead of building automations on behalf of business teams, they’ll work to ensure that data stays protected and that business users follow well-defined processes for integrating apps and automating workflows. 

Here at Workato, we’ve already embraced this shift through the use of our platform.

How Workato operates its federated workspaces model

Essentially, we allow each business team to have their own dedicated workspace within Workato’s environment, where they can build integrations and automations. All the while, our BT team can oversee the provisioning process and audit the activities that transpire across the workspaces.

Related: How Workato implements wall-to-wall automation

The rise of ops roles will spur functions to partner in building automations

The proliferation of operations-based roles across business departments—a movement that Scott Brinker refers to as “Big Ops”—might explain, at least in part, why more and more departments are now automating. 

A horizontal bar chart that shows how many departments were automating before and during the pandemic

As a growing number of functions use automation to optimize their processes in 2022, they’ll work with other departments even more closely. 

For marketing and sales ops, this can mean coming together to build additional automations around nurturing leads; for legal and finance ops, this can mean partnering on automations for reviewing and approving critical documents; for product and data opps, this can mean looking for ways to automatically add product usage data to analytics and BI platforms—and the list goes on.

7 automation insights for 2022

See what our research uncovered

Customizable chatbots will play a bigger role in enterprise automation

When looking at the apps that different departments use in their automations, we found that business communications platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams appeared again and again. In fact, for enterprises (over $2B in annual revenue), Slack was the most commonly used app in automations.

A horizontal bar chart that shows the popularity of various apps for enterprise organizations

As enterprises expand upon the hundreds of apps already in their stack, the need for a centralized point of communication—via Slack or Microsoft Teams—across workflow automations should only grow. Moreover, organizations will increasingly adopt customizable bots that bring automations directly to your business communications platform by allowing employees to access data and actions in their apps (that fall within their levels of permissions) inside of the platform. 

How can this work in practice? Here’s an example where HR Bot enables employees to create and send an offer letter to a candidate and then, once the offer letter is signed, allows employees to perform various onboarding tasks, all without leaving Microsoft Teams.

You can get ahead of the curve and adopt any of these trends with Workato, the leader in enterprise automation. 

To learn more about how Workato’s low-code UX empowers LOBs to automate, and to discover how Workbot, Workato’s platform bot, can power your workflow automations, you can schedule a demo with one of our automation experts.

About the author
Jon Gitlin Content Strategist @ Workato
Jon Gitlin is the managing editor of The Connector, where you can get the latest news on Workato and uncover tips and frameworks for implementing powerful integrations and automations. In his free time, he loves to run outside, watch soccer (er...football) matches, and explore local restaurants.