Recent economic headwinds and AI momentum are setting the stage for massive change and adoption across industries, companies, and departments, according to the Work Automation index from leading AI-powered automation and integration platform, Workato.

During this time of rapid change, a new automation mindset that embraces agility, systems thinking, and inclusiveness is on the rise, demonstrating how organisations are revolutionising the way they work with AI, automation, and integration.

Broken down into six megatrends, the report takes a deep dive into trends in AI, citizen developers, tool sprawl, experience, data strategy, and the rise of the ‘New Automation Mindset’. One of the main takeaways is the use of generative AI in business processes skyrocketing 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 400%, and generative AI endpoints grew 500%.

If 2023 was the year of AI, 2024 will most certainly be the year of automation and AI, according to Workato chief information officer, Carter Busse said.

“As we see 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,” he said.

“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 human resources 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.”

Revenue operations is the top adopter of gen AI with 48% of processes, and IT is in second place with 31% of use cases. Business operations teams automated more than one-quarter (27.7%) of all processes in 2023 – more than any other subgroup across IT or business teams.

More than half(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.

On a region basis, EMEA saw 209% year-over-year growth in recipe development while APJ saw 173% growth year-over-year.