Leveraging Automation to Resolve Complex Infrastructure Processes

Rich Waldron
Rich Waldron, Tray.io CEO

“Low code abstracts away the complexity of actual scripting while providing the flexibility and power that used to be reserved only for developers. Modern low-code automation solutions offer a visual front end that empowers anyone, not just engineers, to drag and drop together their own custom integrations and create their own unique automated workflow,” says Rich Waldron, CEO, Tray.io in an exclusive interview with EnterpriseTalk.

ET Bureau: How can automation help enterprises manage complex processes in their infrastructure?

Rich Waldron: In the immediate term, automation drives efficiency by closing process gaps created by the software. Research suggests the average enterprise uses as many as 1,295 different cloud-based software applications.

As a result, teams across the enterprise spend too much time reconciling data between their various software tools, often resorting to manually copy-pasting data in spreadsheets from one tool to another. The best low-code automation platforms give non-technical business users the power to connect, or integrate, their tools, then use automation to seamlessly flow data across them.

In the near term, automation gives smart teams back hours of their workweeks by streamlining manual processes. In the long term, automation also offers teams the power to orchestrate complex processes across their tech stack.

The most powerful low-code automation platforms also empower even line-of-business (LOB) users to connect, then automate, a variety of operations from any tools in their stack, in any sequence, in response to any trigger – and all at scale.

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As a result, revenue teams can use automation to manage the entire lifecycle of individual leads from the first capture on their company’s website to segmenting and then routing the hottest leads to sales. HR teams can manage the entire employee lifecycle from initial resume upload to onboarding, provisioning, payroll, benefits, and status changes.

ET Bureau: How can enterprises automate most of their processes without increasing the burden on their development resources?

Rich Waldron: Low-code automation offloads the burden on development resources. Traditionally, challenges such as custom app integrations and automating software processes were the domain of IT and engineering teams.

LOB users would identify a significant process bottleneck and submit a help-desk ticket for a custom build. The ticket might take days, weeks, or months to resolve, as companies tend to deprioritize internal software issues to focus their scarce and valuable IT resources on other strategic initiatives.

Low code abstracts away the complexity of actual scripting while providing the flexibility and power that used to be reserved only for developers. Modern low-code automation solutions offer a visual front end that empowers anyone, not just engineers, to drag and drop together their own custom integrations and create their own unique automated workflow.

As a result, LOB users, who are already experts in the software tools they use every day (and the innate limitations of those tools), self-service by building and maintaining their own integrations and automated workflows. Subsequently, IT and engineering teams are free to focus on more high-value projects, such as security and digital transformation.

The latter becomes especially important as companies across the globe have transitioned to a distributed workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s also worth noting that the best low-code automation solutions also offer comprehensive data governance and security, ensuring LOB users can automate and innovate to their hearts’ content while remaining compliant with their company’s security and data privacy policies.

For any company, and for enterprises, in particular, it’s advisable to look for solutions that offer enterprise-grade security, such as SOC 2 Type 2 and compliance with data regulations such as GDPR and CCPA (as well as HIPAA in the case of healthcare companies).

ET Bureau: What automation trends do you see will help enterprises on their digital adoption journey in the foreseeable future?

Rich Waldron: The pandemic has placed significant pressure on businesses to accelerate digital transformation. As companies across the globe transitioned to remote workforces, many found large, unpleasant holes burning through their pockets as they continued to carry sunk costs for expensive on-premises software at the office while their team members were sheltered in place.

Several high-profile firms, such as Twitter, Zillow, and REI, have announced a permanent work-from-home policy. As a result, teams now rely on software (including chat, project management, and collaboration tools) more than ever. With more companies relying on more software products to get things done, smart companies turn to low-code automation to close the gaps across their software and help their teams become more efficient.

Additionally, with the rise of the low-code movement, we’ll likely see more people reskilling to fit the roles of the automation era. Already, we’re seeing the early stages of low-code automation creating a new workforce of “citizen automators.”

Low-code automation democratizes technology and makes traditionally technical challenges – such as integrations and automation – available to anyone. In previous years, it was significantly more important to have the ability to code the right technical solution using the right programming language.

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In the future, we’ll see citizen automators tackle technical challenges by conceptualizing, testing, and implementing new solutions to fundamental business challenges using low-code toolsets.

We’re already seeing citizen automators emerge from every single team across the organization. In fact, some of the most successful citizen automators we’ve encountered have been non-engineers in LOB roles such as marketing, sales, support, finance, and HR.

Since they’re already experts in their apps (and the innate gaps in those apps), they create their own solutions that bridge their own gaps. The best low-code automation platforms tend to offer options such as data helpers and custom logic operators to build out highly customized solutions to fit exact business needs.

ET Bureau: Automation of workflows will help enterprises become more agile and efficient. But do you see any downside of this, as far as resources are concerned?

Rich Waldron: It’s no secret that automation may affect specific jobs in the future. A recent World Economic Forum report suggests that by 2025, automation may affect as many as 85 million jobs worldwide, but it will also create some 97 million new roles as part of a new, automated economy.

Because low-code automation gives anyone, not just engineers, the power to solve fundamental technical and business challenges, it has the potential to be a job-creation category that will have a positive and profound impact on the job market.

Rich Waldron is CEO and co-founder of Tray.io. He believes strongly in democratizing the use of software and data for anyone – not just for engineers. He helped create Tray.io to lead the low-code general automation movement so that any business user can have the power to integrate their tech stack and automate mission-critical business processes by themselves.