The Benefits and Risks of Process Automation

Check it out what you will find on this article about process automation:

Small and large businesses worldwide are embracing the benefits of automation in order for their employees to become more productive and eliminate simple and straightforward busy work. Process automation is likely to revolutionize the workplace and bring significant advantages for companies.

However, it remains a challenge to ensure that process automation does not replace the workforce, but, instead, assists employees in their daily responsibilities. As many as 400 million people or 15 percent of the global workforce could lose their jobs between 2016 to 2030, states Forbes. Essentially, business leaders will need to find ways for automation to streamline processes for their workforce instead of displacing their workers. But what is automation when stripped down to its core?

What is Process Automation?

Whether it is driverless cars, robotics, or software developments, automation is essentially a way to reduce human intervention when undergoing a process, according to the APQC blog. This means that control systems are able to operate various applications or vehicles by themselves. This may revolve around automated documentation, mobile technology, robotics, or even 3D printing.

This means people are connected to information much more quickly than before without the need for human intervention. Automation can replace many functions of factory workers or office workers as well.

As such, there are significant benefits for employees in terms of saving time and reducing their workload. Below, we outline some of the biggest advantages that process automation provides for businesses in today’s world.

Biggest Ways Automation Benefits Businesses

You will find that process automation is able to boost your company’s revenue stream in a variety of ways. One benefit of automation is its ability to improve business marketing strategies, according to an article from Inc. For example, customer monitoring processes alleviate some of the work of marketers and data mining provides more results for improving marketing strategies.

Streamlined sales processes also greatly benefit companies by enhancing follow-ups and ensuring leads are routed to the right employees, so that every sale is optimized. This leads to greater revenue for the company. Automating retail and e-commerce sales will also keep customers coming back. This has been clearly achieved by Amazon and other retailers.

“Companies across categories are embracing automation to simplify repetitive, complex and tedious workflows and create efficiencies to deliver a consistent and stronger overall customer experience,” Elisha Tropper, CEO of Cambridge Security Seals, told the news source. “Automation not only improves product delivery and response times, it also frees up time for business owners and employees to focus on that which can never, and should never, be automated – customer relationships.”

In addition, service levels are also improved with the help of process automation. Customer service representatives and support staff benefit from automation because it allows better monitoring of client relationships, which prevents minor issues from growing and ensures customer satisfaction. This also assists human resources departments with ensuring relationships with employees are satisfactory and prevents high turnover rates.

There has been a larger focus on the user experience among companies due to the digital transformation taking place worldwide. Today, the younger generations have more access to information and are more in tune with their needs, which is why corporations are so focused on the user experience. This is a major part of how companies are keeping their customers and attract new clients.

Process automation can also help highly-regulated industries such as finance to ensure compliance quickly and easily. Streamlining workflows and special operations simplifies the workload for employees in a variety of different industries.

As a leader and manager at your company, you will see great benefits from automation especially in terms of what you get out of your employees. Workers will be able to work on more complex projects because automation will remove the obstacles of more tedious and low-value work. Additionally, when managers can utilize applications without the assistance of IT teams, the company’s performance is optimized. Essentially, resources are used more efficiently.

While there are significant benefits automation brings to the table, business leaders need to be aware of risks and how to best manage the risks of process automation.

Key Strategies for Managing Process Automation Risks

In order ensure bot deployment does not face legacy-based problems, industry-standard methodologies that focus on reuse need to be used when designing the scripts that program bots, according to MITSloan Management Review. Automated applications need to be properly logged so that QA processes can be used effectively. Bot implementations need to be carefully utilized among technology teams and business owners. Additionally, third-party businesses may need to be contracted to write the scripts. Essentially, testing is key when attempting to reduce process automation risks.

Additionally, any updates or patches to Windows-based applications or browsers will need to consider how it will impact the automation processes already built in. Bot scripts do not work well even with minor deviations in a user interface.

Some of the risks associated with this can be alleviated with effective programming as well as formal software-development methods. Essentially, any changes related to the user interface will need to be handled carefully or else it risks slowing down innovation processes. You, as the business manager, will need to consider all aspects of your company processes and the technological environment in order to better manage the risks of automation.

In order to avoid the risks of business automation, you will want to measure the value potential of every automation decision. In fact, nearly 70% of Enterprise IT processes can be tied to business automation. You will also benefit from defining certain ways for understanding use cases for adopting business automation. Finally, you’ll want to perform a proof of concept and create automation capabilities to scale.

Lastly, it is imperative to understand how to involve all stakeholder groups when implementing automation processes and the ways you can set up the right governance for these systems.

Involving Stakeholder Groups and Developing the Right Governance

It is imperative for business leaders to work across departments and involve all stakeholder groups when adopting new technologies and automation processes. Essentially, cooperating among groups is an imperative in the Digital Age.

“We need leaders who are emotionally intelligent, and able to model and champion cooperative working. They’ll coach, rather than command; they’ll be driven by empathy, not ego. The digital revolution needs a different, more human kind of leadership,” said economist Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

First, you will need to identify stakeholders and create a communication strategy to use across multiple teams. You will also need to analyze risk and assess a change impact analysis as well as form a plan to resolve issues or conflicts among team members. Lastly, you’ll want to gather feedback and analyze the results and successes of your communication strategy.

It is helpful to incorporate data analytics in order to continually evaluate your business metrics. This will help with operational efficiency as well as constant improvement at your company. Some of the metrics you’ll want to keep track of include sales revenue, operating productivity, and customer retention.

There are also a number of different steps you’ll need to follow in order to develop the right governance for business automation. These steps include:

  • Picking the correct process
  • Choosing the best tools
  • Defining your goals for business automation
  • Clearly establishing roles in automation implementation projects
  • Involving all stakeholders as part of the process
  • Training employees and users on the new applications
  • Testing and assessing your processes continually in order to improve systems
  • Creating a backup plan in case of failure

After you set up the right governance system for your process automation, you will want to ensure your business continually drives change and your company moves quickly to keep up with the advancements within your industry.

While business leaders and economists may be concerned that automation will replace many jobs in today’s world, history has shown that new technologies and advancements have created new jobs and entire new industries that can partially or completely replace the lost professions.

If you’re looking to ensure your team and all stakeholders are connected with regard to process automation, you will greatly benefit from a collaboration tool like software.

How Software Improves Communication and Connects Stakeholder Groups

You will find that a collaboration system like software will greatly benefit your company by connecting teams and keeping all users motivated. The communication between workers and stakeholders will be more transparent with the help of this type of project management software. In addition, your workflow will be more streamlined and you’ll face fewer bottlenecks when completing projects.

You’ll benefit from this program’s time tracking features and its seamless communication capabilities through commenting sections. Lastly, this software product has dashboards with metrics that will help you evaluate the success of your projects. If you want to see if software is right for your company, click here for a free trial.

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