CIOs continue to place a high priority on digital transformation projects \u2013 the latest research from the State of the CIO 2022 survey suggests that leading digital business and transformation initiatives are among the top three priorities for CIOs. At the same time, enabling remote capabilities has increased in importance. These operational and transformation projects place more work in the hands of the IT department, which is still dealing with a labor shortage in the post-pandemic \u201cGreat Resignation\u201d era, along with the need to continually monitor and upgrade data security infrastructure.\n\nCIOs can help ease this burden by democratizing the automation process of less complex business needs outside the core IT team, so that IT can focus on more complex transformation projects.\n\n\u201cIT workloads have increased significantly and put a burden on IT teams to not only keep up with the demand, but also keep pace with evolving technology,\u201d says Jagjit Dhaliwal, Vice President and Global CIO Industry Leader at UiPath. \u201cDigital transformation efforts can\u2019t all be on IT teams to drive, which is why CIOs need to democratize automation across their organization to accelerate that transformation.\u201d\n\nHowever, opening up automation processes to non-IT employees isn\u2019t like handing the keys to the Corvette to your teenager and saying, \u201cHave at it.\u201d Dhaliwal says the key to driving transformative change for an enterprise is through employee-driven automation, but with a careful, proven approach that aligns business and IT strategies.\n\nBefore the gates are open, Dhaliwal suggests that CIOs create an Automation Center of Excellence (CoE), a team of employees that centrally governs the self-service automations and rolls out other automations to users. The CoE can focus on robotic process automation (RPA) planning and reskilling, project delivery, create development standards and practices, and follow any audit compliance standards.\n\nDhaliwal recommends a five-step approach, which CIOs can follow to democratize automation and execute it as a program aligned with the organization\u2019s business and IT strategies. He notes that it\u2019s in the best interest of CIOs to take the lead here and evangelize a citizen development program to avoid the risk of \u201cshadow IT.\u201d It ensures standardization and guardrails across all automation for successful program execution at scale. Dhaliwal elaborates on the five steps here.\n\nTo learn more about how companies can deploy enterprise automation, watch a webcast with UiPath\u2019s Dhaliwal here.