What is Business Automation and should you use it?

Automation has impacted practically every industry over the years, from ATMs to production lines to healthcare systems. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, on the other hand, are bringing automation to new heights. This so-called "intelligent automation" is transforming how humans and machines interact, allowing businesses to boost efficiency, grow revenue, and prosper in difficult markets. 

Research suggests that automation has a significant impact on the bottom line. According to IBM (Institute for Business Value), AI-assisted automation will produce billions of pounds in labour value by 2022.

What is business automation?
Business automation refers to the use of technological applications to automate routine operations, allowing staff to focus on higher-value duties. Business process automation (BPA), robotic process automation (RPA), and AI-powered automation are all examples of this.

What are the main benefits of business automation?
Automation is an effective approach to streamline operations and boost business growth, whether you're running a little firm or a major corporation. Automation tools are intended to replace human labour with machine labour so that your human resources can be put to better use elsewhere in the company.

Business automation can help your business in the following ways:
  • Discover processes - identify inefficiencies or hotspots in your operations to see where automated procedures might make the most difference. This entails data mining and modelling of processes;
  • Use your intellect - use the data generated by using machine learning and AI to recommend actions and free up employees to focus on more strategic duties;
  • Increase the size of your workforce - create RPA technologies and deploy digital workers to collaborate with humans wherever a greater degree of productivity or backup is required;
  • Automate core operations - to address business demands, apply core automation capabilities to key operational areas, such as document processing, workflow orchestration, decision management, and content services.

Why does my business need automation now?
When looking for methods to get an advantage over their competitors, businesses often dismiss automation as a viable option. Any business that wishes to stand out should explore automation, which can greatly simplify as well as speed up the operations of a company.

Business automation is ideal for streamlining procedures in almost every department of a company. We will highlight some of these ways in the following list:
  • Marketing activities
 With email marketing automation, businesses can utilise software to send emails to a client distribution list on a predetermined timetable, lowering campaign expenditures. Marketing activities can be integrated with a customer relationship management (CRM) system, allowing you to do things like sending automated messages to customers via social media.
  • Human resources 
Human resource management systems can automate a variety of HR operations, including job application processing, interview scheduling, job offers, onboarding, payroll management, and benefit administration. These technologies can also provide insights into labour productivity via analytics.
  • Sales processes
Sales automation solutions like Salesforce and other Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tools allow sales people to spend less time tracking deal-related activities and more time closing transactions. Whether it's qualifying leads based on their buyer journey, assigning prospects to the correct rep, or developing data-backed sales projections, the tools can automate repetitive operations across the sales process.
  • Finance and accounting
Companies may free up time for critical tasks such as analysis, strategy, and stakeholder participation by automating financial planning and accounting functions. Data capture is automated, bills are automatically matched to documents, and approvals are automatically routed in accounts payable (AP) administration, for example. By implementing background controls, eliminates data inaccuracies and helps to avoid fraud

Things to consider before implementing business automation:
The advantages of business automation certainly outweigh the disadvantages but in order to boost growth within your business, you must also evaluate how automation may negatively affect your business as well. Before automating any of your processes, think about:
  • Security risks 
There are numerous dangers associated with automated systems. The most notable is hacking. Automation makes activities one click easier and faster for you, but it also makes things one click easier and faster for the malicious attacker. To avoid inconvenient situations at work, security measures such as firewalls and backup storage are beneficial; be aware of security and plan accordingly.
  • Becoming too reliant on automatic systems too much
Client messages should have a human touch, not just computerised responses. Doing this will positively contribute to the brand image of your business, thus building better rapport between your business and your target demographic.
  • Understand what process your business needs to automate
Before going all in, it's usually a good idea to learn about what you're getting yourself into. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of automating your systems, as well as the reasons for doing so. Additionally, there are many ways to automate your processes, but you should always test them before deciding which ones best suit your needs.

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