Workato has unveiled its third annual Work Automation Index. The data report presents the key trends that shaped automation over the past year based on anonymized data from 1,055 midsize to enterprise Workato customers.
This year’s data reveals how recent economic headwinds and AI momentum are setting the stage for massive change and adoption across industries, companies, and departments.
During this time of rapid change, a new automation mindset that embraces agility, systems thinking, and inclusiveness is on the rise, demonstrating how organizations are revolutionizing the way they work with AI, automation, and integration.
Broken down into six megatrends, this year’s report takes a deep dive into trends in AI, citizen developers, tool sprawl, experience, data strategy, and to conclude, the rise of The New Automation Mindset.
One of the main takeaways from the report is the use of generative AI in business processes skyrocketed by 400%. While it’s still reported that generative AI is less than 1% of enterprise spending, over the last year alone processes with generative AI grew by 400%, and generative AI endpoints grew by 500%.
“If 2023 was the year of AI, 2024 will most certainly be the year of Automation and AI. As we see more and more teams rapidly adopt the right guardrails, governorship, and tools to scale AI and Automation, IT teams have taken a strategic role in ensuring success across the business,” said Carter Busse, Chief Information Officer, Workato.
“From revenue operation teams leading the adoption of generative AI tools to the citizen development trend continuing to show strong stability as more automation work is handled by teams outside of IT, we’ll continue to see this type of hyper-growth and adoption as automation and AI become more accessible.”
From finance becoming the most automated department to HR seeing the value in automation to help improve the employee experience, we’ll continue to see this type of growth and adoption as automation becomes more accessible across departments.
This year’s report identified the following key findings:
- Revenue and IT operations lead generative AI adoption: Revenue operations is the top adopter of genAI with 48% of processes, and IT is in second place with 31% of use cases.
- Operations roles are automating more processes than any other group: Business operations teams automated 27.7% of all processes in 2023 – more than any other subgroup across IT or business teams.
- Automated processes are growing more complex: Over time, we are seeing a consistent trend that processes connect to more apps, involve more steps, and require more sophisticated logic.
- 11% of automated processes in 2023 include humans “in the loop”: A large percentage of automated processes are designed for human interactions, such as approvals or exception handling.
- IT is evolving into a player-coach role: 56% of automations are still built by IT personas, but IT is also being tasked with governance and guidance for the 44% handled by business teams.
- EMEA and APJ regions are adopting automation practices at record speed: EMEA saw a 209% year-over-year growth in recipe development while APJ saw 173% growth year-over-year.
“Over the last year, we’ve seen a rise in businesses embracing AI and automation. Leaders are becoming increasingly aware of how ingrained AI needs to be in our strategies, decisions, and digital transformations,” said Saiesh Prakash, Senior Manager, Enterprise Integrations at Coinbase.
“With Workato’s Work Automation Index, we’re seeing this foundational shift take form, with RevOps and IT teams leading the race to adopt Generative AI. As more and more companies begin to experiment with AI and automation, we’ll continue to see more opportunities for all enterprises to scale these types of applications across entire organizations.”