Rise of the Automator
What is an automator? Meet the next most-coveted profile in the tech industry: the automation professional, or automator.
It’s not every day that you see the emergence of a new profession. Even in the age of hyperspecialization, learning about a new one is rather uncommon.
To be clear, I’m not talking about new titles for old trades. For example, you can call a marketer a “growth hacker”, but it won’t change a thing about the profession itself.
Instead, I’m referring to roles demanding a specific combination of skills, expertise, and mindset that doesn’t match any of the existing ones. And this exactly is what automation pros represent: an entirely new role.
For lack of a better title, I’ll call this role the “automator”.
As it happens with other professions, the automator is an answer to the challenges organizations are facing, some of which include the following:
Improving internal workflows
Delivering better experiences to customers
Optimizing cloud app integrations
Automators are becoming increasingly relevant for the present and future of businesses, and today I’m going to tell you all about them.
After all, Make is a company teeming with automators, and there is a lot to learn and share. Read on!
What does an automator do?
The automator evaluates and optimizes workflows and processes within an organization.
This task often demands the design, creation, and maintenance of integrations between apps.
In turn, this requires mastery over at least one cloud-based integration platform like Make, and a strong knowledge of data structures and data types.
Other fundamental traits an automator must possess are flexibility and a hands-on approach to solving new challenges and problems. This is vital because automators encounter new (or unknown) apps and workflows all the time.
In other words, an automator must be a professional who possesses the following:
Knowledge about core business apps (CRMs, databases, email, chat, messaging, project management, etc.)
Ability to learn and adapt to new tools and processes quickly
Creativity to visualize and implement workflows, processes, data flows, and integrations between apps
Needless to say, these are fundamental traits. Further skills are often demanded, but these tend to be more related to aspects like:
The nature of integrations that are to be developed
Industry or field of action
Scale of projects
Size of the organization
Now, let’s go a little deeper and learn about the different automator profiles that you can find out there.
Types of automation professionals
Automators come from all walks of life; some have an IT background, while others come from fields like marketing and business.
However, having this information may not be enough for managers and recruiters searching for the right professional to suit a company's automation needs.
Now that we covered the core skills the role demands, it is time to categorize automators. One way to do it is by looking at their area of specialization.
Businesses and individuals use an impressive number of tools, and automators can be categorized as per their expertise in specific areas or tools. Let's take a look at a few categories of automators.
1. Web development automators
As the name indicates, web development automators focus on websites and web apps. They have a working knowledge of UX concepts, information architecture, content management systems, email services, forms, and web building apps.
Some of the products they normally use include Bubble, Webflow, Carrd, SquareSpace, and WordPress.
In addition, they have to be familiar with many apps that websites use and require, such as G Suite, Google Analytics, JotForm, and Stripe, to name a few.
Make Certified Partners specialized in web automation
2. Conversational automators
These automators know how to create and deploy chatbots for websites and messenger platforms, helping companies in their customer support, marketing, and lead generation efforts.
In addition, they are well-versed in internal and external communication flows, and implement solutions that simplify and enrich exchanges over communication platforms.
Chatbot and communications automators have extensive knowledge of apps and tools like ManyChat, Botsify, Slack, Chatfuel, Telegram Bot, Landbot, and Facebook Messenger.
Examples of conversational automation
Make Certified Partners specialized in conversational automation
3. Enterprise and CRM automators
Enterprise apps are remarkable beasts in their own right. These tools have dozens of features, and serve many purposes for different people across the organization. Popular examples include Salesforce, HubSpot, Zoho, Pipedrive, Salesflare, and Freshsales.
Automators working in this space must possess a thorough understanding of workflows related to customer relationship management and marketing funnels, and also of the tools mentioned above, among others.
Examples of CRM workflow automation
Make Certified Partners specialized in enterprise and CRM automation
4. Transport and logistics automators
The transportation business has been disrupted several times in the past couple of decades. Nowadays, logistics and transportation systems demand the use of apps and solutions to both maximize the business' potential and handle all the variables involved.
Logistics automators are knowledgeable about different kinds of transportation businesses and their workflows. Experience with mobile integrations and user experience may also come in handy when looking for a logistics automator.
Apps they rely on include Google Maps, Uber, and Android.
Examples of transport and logistics automation
Make Certified Partners specialized in transport and logistics automation
5. Marketing automators
Automation has made a splash among marketers, who stand out as early adopters and power users of tools like Make.
Marketing automation professionals are to improve a diverse amount of workflows related to lead generation, conversions, online advertising, email, events, newsletters, analytics and more.
Some of the tools they develop integrations for are Eventbrite, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook Pages, Buffer, Google Analytics, SurveyMonkey, MailChimp, Gmail, Marketo, Reddit, and Twitter.
Examples of marketing automation
Make Certified Partners specialized in marketing automation
6. Business and productivity automators
The business automator is focused on improving the internal workflows of a company.
Workers and managers spend a lot of time going through overly-complicated processes related to data flows, project management, reporting, communications, and internal bureaucracies.
Business and productivity automators develop integrations for tools like ClickUp, Asana, Trello, Smartsheet, Basecamp, Process Street, Monday.com, Slack, Zoom, and Harvest.
Examples of productivity automation
Make Certified Partners specialized in productivity automation
7. Accounting automators
Accounting automation professionals are well-versed in developing integrations for the accounting tools that dominate the space, such as Xero, Freshbooks, QuickBooks, and Wave.
In the same breath, accounting automators are knowledgeable in tools that guard a close relation to accounting workflows, such as PayPal, Stripe, InvoiceNinja, and Recurly.
Examples of accounting automation
Make Certified Partners specialized in accounting automation
8. E-Commerce automators
Online shops demand a lot of work, and automation is the answer to reduce the burden.
E-commerce automators deal with a mix of workflows related to different activities, such as marketing and accounting. The e-commerce automator knows about billing, forms, email marketing, invoicing, customer support, and inventory.
Most common integrations for e-commerce connect apps like Shopify, Magento, Square, ShipStation, WooCommerce, PrestaShop, Google Shopping, Xero, and Autopilot. Examples of e-commerce automation
Make Certified Partners specialized in e-commerce automation
Automators are poised to become more specialized and diverse as time goes by. But first, let’s ask ourselves a key question: Why are automators becoming so important?
As it turns out, there are multiple responses that make sense when it comes to answering these questions. Let’s take a look!
There’s no Such thing as “too efficient”
Many factors contributed to making workflow automation and app integrations top priorities for medium-sized and large organizations, notably:
A clear need for cloud-based integrations
Difficulties in the integration of legacy apps
Prevalence of overcomplicated workflows
Prevalence of information silos
Overworked IT departments
Lack of adequate IT talent
Slow delivery times
After migrating to cloud-based app ecosystems, companies are now learning that productivity gains do not end there.
Integrations allow for better, simpler, and more effective workflows -- as long as there is somebody capable of producing these at a healthy rate.
This situation is starting to affect thousands of businesses around the world, leading to a simple question: What is the best course of action? The advice here is pretty simple and straightforward:
Identify your workflow automation and app integration necessities
Evaluate your resources (talent, technologies, budget, time)
Design strategic goals
Adopt no-code/low-code products
Begin to implement
For many organizations, following the tips above will require the hire of a single automator, and the adoption of a couple of no-code products.
In other words, a low-risk investment with the potential of high returns. Until sentient AI becomes a thing, it really doesn’t get much better than this!
Conclusion: Do not wait for automators to become scarce
Hiring automators is perhaps the best way to increase an organization’s IT capacity without undertaking a significant expansion of the IT department.
A good question that can guide the decision of whether to hire an automator or not is:
Do you feel your IT teams can keep up with internal demand?
If the answer is no, you know what to do: hire an automator, or else train one of your own team members into becoming one.