The position has staying power because it’s part of an evolution of technology that helps speed up business processes to stay competitive, says Automic’s Kroeger.
“Automation is a response to IT not being able to get things done fast enough,” he says. “Every day we are seeing new areas of IT that can benefit from automation and as IT becomes a more integral part of 'the business' we should expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future. Without a solid, future-proof automation strategy in place, enterprises will no longer be able to compete in the digital economy. The strategy needs to be scalable, flexible, and comprehensive. In order to ensure that a viable strategy is implemented and, just as importantly, is maintained and enhanced, an automation architect should be high on every IT department's shopping list.”
Nintex’s Fitzmaurice sees the position benefiting nontechnical workers, and his company is bullish on the idea of these workers’ new ability to initiate some forms of automation on their own.
“To really make that work, someone needs to act as coach, facilitator, promoter, integrator and curator,” Fitzmaurice says. “Companies that have taken this to heart and positioned workflow and content automation as a standard business skill have — or need — people who train power users, create libraries of integration connectors and ready-to-use sub processes, keep an eye on what’s being built to see what can be promoted for wider reuse. As well as what could use some polite advice on how to improve it. The proactive parts of this — especially when it comes to integrating applications, data, content and devices — are where an automation architect can shine. In fact, this person should own your integration strategy. Unless you use a single application asset to run your entire business, you’re going to need this person in perpetuity.”
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