Every business relies on technology, in fact, every business relies on multiple technologies.
Businesses use multiple applications, web sites and software as a service (SaaS) on a daily basis to run the business.
The use of such disparate applications is only increasing with the acceptance of SaaS models and the proliferation of new applications that simplify business processes every day
What is Business Process Automation?
It is all about automating the daily tasks performed by humans in a business.
This includes copying and pasting data, clicking buttons, logging in to various applications, transferring data between applications, performing a series of steps to glue together separate business applications, apply a set of decisions and logic to these actions.
All these tasks are performed by millions of people globally every day and billions of human hours are wasted everyday with mundane tasks such as these.
Problems with the current state
Just because it has been done this way for years in the past doesn’t mean it needs to be done this way into the future.
The two main problems with human based processes are:
- Error rate
The billions of human hours spent on these inefficient processes are a massive drain on business expenses. As companies are looking at maximizing efficiency, these hours spent are getting an increased focus from all kinds of businesses. Trillions of dollars are spent annually on sustaining inefficient processes, employing more staff to simply click buttons and copy paste data from one system to another.
Savings from automation will directly add to the bottom line through a simple expense reduction.
Humans are bound to introduce errors in any process, especially those that are repetitive and mundane. As you login to the same website multiple times a day, copy/paste from one site to another hundreds of times a day, click the same set of buttons in sequence, the chances of errors creep up every day. Once the error rate goes up, counter measures to reduce those errors result in hiring more staff to perform QA (Quality Assurance) or supervisors or managers to oversee an army of humans, all leading to the same thing we already discusses – Cost.
Sectors leading the charge
Pretty much every business sector and industry is already looking at options to automate their business processes.
Businesses of every size are already using some level of business automation or in the process of evaluating solutions to enable automation.
Small businesses are evaluating rising payroll costs and the need for more administrative staff to perform mundane and non-essential activities. The real estate costs related to hiring more staff and the need for more supervisors to manage the extra staff, all add exponential costs to a business with low margins.
Large businesses are also involved in massive business process automation efforts at an IT and corporate level but even smaller departments are looking at business automation in their daily work processes to effectively utilize their budgets. e.g. Marketing, Sales, Social Media, Accounting, Legal, Facilities, Human Resources, Regulatory compliance – all these functions are rife with inefficiencies and the lack of skilled resources to man these functions only increases their costs.
Retaining skilled staff too becomes a challenge if a majority of their workday is spent performing mundane and mindless tasks.
These were just some of the examples of automation.
There is no limit to what processes can be fully or even partially automated.
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