“When building automation, it is important to move rapidly from ideation to delivering the automation to your business. Organizations don’t have months to wait around for single automation to be built. It should be built within days, and the time savings can be used for optimizing that new process for more efficiency,” says Vijay Tella, CEO, Workato, in an exclusive interview with EnterpriseTalk.
ET Bureau: How can enterprises effectively integrate apps and automate business workflows without compromising security and governance?
Vijay Tella: The market has presented enterprises with a false choice: either integrates and automate your business with the equivalent of legos or concrete. Organizations have to choose between janky tools that help the business build apps and operate in the shadows or extremely complex tools that require an army of experts to maintain and are very difficult to change over time.
Users in both the business and IT need to be able to automate their own workflows. Enterprise users know their workflows best, and they can’t afford to wait around for IT requests to be fulfilled. On the other hand, IT is ultimately responsible for security and governance, so they need to be in control.
IT should be able to set permissions and access policies that determine which apps and data sources can be accessed, and users need an enterprise automation platform that ensures the secure integration of apps and data at its core, versus allowing employees to access any APIs that may not be secure or vetted. In this way, enterprises can benefit from rapid innovation and workflow acceleration without compromising security and governance.
Read an Exclusive Interview: Enterprises Need to Change Their Approach Towards Incident Management
ET Bureau: How does the Enterprise Automation Platform enable enterprises to drive real-time outcomes from business events?
Vijay Tella: A big part of the value of an effective EAP is speed and time to value. This comes in two forms – one is in the building of the automation, and the second is in the value gained from the automation.
When building automation, it is important to move rapidly from ideation to delivering the automation to your business. Organizations don’t have months to wait around for single automation to be built. It should be built within days, and the time savings can be used for optimizing that new process for more efficiency.
Once the process is automated, data can be surfaced and delivered to apps instantly without human intervention, which reduces delay and the potential for human error. For example, consider a quick-service restaurant chain. At each store, a manager closes up at 10 pm and spends the next two hours keying receipts into a point-of-sale (POS) system or an accounting application. With an EAP, the process can be automated; receipts are sent immediately to headquarters for accounting or inventory purposes. The data is also available immediately for analysis, so the chain can make decisions about marketing and product development based on current real-world data. An EAP enables this real-time feedback loop across a near-infinite range of industries and processes. And it makes a huge difference in the quality of life of this hardworking restaurateur giving him two hours of life back each day while removing the most unfun and grungy parts of his job.
ET Bureau: What trends do you think will transform the enterprise automation platform?
Vijay Tella: There are two main trends at work. One is application overload. The cloud has made it incredibly easy to spin up new apps, and company leaders have a bad habit of throwing more tools at problems, but employees are forced to switch continuously between multiple apps to get their work done. It’s inefficient and a poor user experience.
As enterprises start to realize that this proliferation of apps is actually making them less efficient, there will be a greater push to automate processes behind the scenes and surface action through a smaller number of apps. One example is the use of Slack bots, where users can kick off a process from within their communication tool, but there are also more sophisticated machine-to-machine use cases that link CRM, ERP, and HCM applications on the back end.
The other trend is the rise of low code-no code tools. One of the biggest opportunities for an EAP is making it accessible to enterprise users who know their workflows best and have the greatest incentive to accelerate and improve them. Low code-no code platforms but power back into the hands of these enterprise users. IT can set guardrails to ensure security and compliance standards are maintained, and then users can automate the thousands of processes in any business that can benefit from automation.
ET Bureau: How can enterprises leverage innovative technologies to accelerate resolution time with incident automation?
Vijay Tella: Billion-dollar categories have sprung up to help companies address incident management. But automation can scale this to entirely new heights. Here are a few examples:
Fully autonomous responses: the best enterprises today detect issues before they are reported. Autonomous operations predict & identify issues, proactively addressing them, and alerting anyone impacted. With this approach, organizations can both gain efficiency and increase stakeholder satisfaction at the same time.
Detecting composite incidents: most composite incidents go undetected. A great example is when employees download dozens of sensitive documents in a short period of time. Today, this action can automatically surface the list of downloads to their manager via Slack or Teams, with one-click access removal for emergencies. Processes like these can minimize risks to the business that would otherwise be missed.
Faster traditional ticket resolution: automation can prioritize incident tickets immediately by consulting signals and escalating accordingly. Signals might include customer size, whether they are in a deal cycle, their recent satisfaction scores, or even AI analysis to capture the tone and intent of the request. Not only does this make the process more efficient, but it also protects the business by alerting the right people when high-priority requests are surfaced.
Vijay Tella, co-founder and CEO of enterprise automation platform Workato ($1.7B valuations), has guided the creation of market-leading integration technologies for over 25 years. This includes serving as CEO of Qik (acquired by Skype), and helping build two multi-billion-dollar integration products: the world’s first middleware platform, TIB (The Information Bus acquired by Reuters Plc), and Oracle’s Fusion Middleware platform.