State of Business Technology 2021: Why the function is more important than ever

Over the course of the pandemic, BT professionals have become increasingly valuable to their employers.

They’ve focused on business-critical initiatives, like building upon their cybersecurity strategy and adopting cutting-edge cloud applications; they’ve implemented key integrations and automations while enabling lines of business to do the same; and they’ve led back-to-office initiatives, all but ensuring that employees return to the workplace safely.

It’s perhaps little surprise then that at a time when budgets are shrinking, we’ve seen theirs grow.

How do we know all this? We partnered with Atomik Research, an independent market research firm, to survey more than 500 BT and IT professionals on a range of topics—from the digital initiatives they’re focusing on to the specific automations they’re implementing. We then analyzed and packaged up the key findings as part of our latest edition of the State of Business Technology. 

Here’s a closer look at some of those findings:

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You can download the full report to better understand how the BT role is evolving amidst the pandemic.

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BT is putting their feet to the pedal on a breadth of initiatives

When BT respondents told us about the initiatives they’re investing more in during the pandemic, they provided a host of answers.

A horizontal bar chart that highlights the digital initiatives BT is accelerating during the pandemic

The adoption of cloud applications and cloud infrastructure stand out—and for good reason. They provide the agility, security, and cost savings organizations need to operate remotely and navigate business uncertainty. 

This migration to the cloud also explains, at least in part, the notable rise in cybersecurity investments; migrating data from on-prem storage to the cloud calls for significant protection measures to be taken.

BT is empowering lines of business to implement their own automations

While BT still plays a big role in implementing automations, they’re by and large comfortable in letting their business teams build their own (within a secure environment governed by BT). 

A visual that highlights how comfortable BT is in letting business teams implement automations

This insight was one of the most affirming for our business, as it proves that lines of business can (and should) play a central role in implementing their own integrations and automations. 

You can point to a multitude of reasons for why this is important; lines of business (LOBs) are the closest to their processes, so they likely know of the best ways to implement their automations; passing the responsibility onto LOBs frees BT up to focus on other important tasks; integration and automation bottlenecks are more easy to avoid, etc.

We also found the LOBs that are getting more (and relatively less) involved in implementing automations: 

A bar chart that shows the percentage of business teams that are implementing automations

These findings correspond to the product usage data we uncovered in our W*rk Automation Index. Over the past year, we’ve seen customer support-related automations surge in our platform by 290%; we’ve also seen slightly lower, yet still dramatic, growth in finance and accounting automations (190%), and sales and marketing automations (184%).

BT is supporting a hybrid work environment

As employees slowly return to the office, BT teams are making sure that the appropriate safety measures get taken every step of the way. At the same time, they’re working hard to make the process of reserving workspaces convenient and simple for their colleagues.

The result: We’ve seen BT teams adopt various back-to-office measures.

A breakdown of the back-to-office automations BT has implemented

Here at Workato, we’ve put measures like these into action since the early days of the pandemic. You can see what, exactly, we’ve done to help employees return to the office here.

BT is receiving more budget

Given all the ways BT is supporting the business, it should be unsurprising that they’re being rewarded with more budget.

Just 13% of respondents said they have a smaller budget to work with than the year prior, and nearly two thirds say they have more. 

A pie chart that shows how BT budget has changed over the past year

As organizations continue to modernize their tech stack, bring employees back into their offices, and rely on integrations and automations to keep their business humming and their employees productive, the BT function should continue to become increasingly important.

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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 ( matches, and explore local restaurants.