As businesses adapt to the realities of hybrid working, they’re increasingly turning to automation to manage resources and keep their teams safe.
Workato, which is itself a leader in enterprise automation, is using its own platform to manage hot desks as it reopens, post-pandemic.
“Staff can upload their vaccination card, get approval from HR, and reserve a desk in the office on a specific date without ever leaving Slack,” explained Workato CIO Carter Busse, in conversation with CIO.com’s Doug Drinkwater. The automation, which took six hours to formulate by a member of Facilities, is surfaced in Workato’s workplace collaboration tool as a Slack bot, so it integrates with the tools staff already use. It also provides a “follow” feature. “If someone books to visit the office next week, and I follow them, it will message me in Slack. So, not only do I feel safe going into the office, knowing everyone’s been vaccinated, but it encourages me to come in if I know the person that I need to meet will also be around.”
Innovative processes in familiar applications
A fifth of all automations produced using Workato’s Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) reside within core business tools, like Slack and Microsoft Teams. Moreover, almost half are built by the “business” meaning non-technical teams, not members of IT.
“It shows how comfortable IT is becoming to give a tool like Workato to the wider business,” says Busse, who believes that, in part, that’s thanks to the platform’s integral guardrails and governance, which gives IT leaders the confidence they need to open up the platform to what is commonly referred to as “citizen developers, automators, or integrators”.
The net result is greater alignment between IT team and the line-of-business teams, and fewer bottlenecks, as departments are empowered by the low-code / no-code platform to produce their own solutions on their own schedule.
Towards a productive future
One power of an automated workflow is its ability to deliver alerts of important business events or approvals directly to employees in Slack, Teams, or Workplace by Facebook.
Citing a further example, Busse explains how many marketing teams use Workato to surface customer intent alerts for revenue teams. When a key visitor to a SaaS review site shows interest in Workato, the marketing and sales team is immediately alerted in Slack, along with any relevant context from other tools such as Salesforce CRM. This allows for fast response before the lead “goes cold” or finds a competitor. The team could have spent money with a SaaS vendor dedicated to speed-to-lead technology, or invested hours of developer time coding a custom solution themselves. Instead, in a matter of hours, and at minimal cost, the team had devised and implemented its own application . The potential return on investment for technology like this is very significant.
No-code and low-code automation frees businesses to accomplish new things with automation that were otherwise considered too expensive or not worthwhile.
Rather than allocating resources to a larger IT team, Busse, like many others in his position, wants to “hire people who’ve worked in business, like ops people from sales, customer success and finance that can better partner with the business.” He is not alone. Where once it might have been a rarity, Busse and business leaders like him are increasingly getting their wish thanks to broader adoption and democratization of automation.
AI, intelligent ticketing systems, natural language processing and automation are reshaping the digital workplace. And, they point to a future in which staff are freed to play to their strengths, to build the business by focusing on areas of growth and innovation, and better manage resources whether physical, virtual or human in the evolving hybrid workplace.
To discover more about how Workato can help businesses automate their operations, how it can take pressure off IT teams, and how it became the number one iPaaS platform on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, connect with Carter Busse on LinkedIn.