Automating business involves using technology applications to automate repetitive tasks, releasing employees to perform more important tasks. Automation includes business process automation (BPA), robotic process automation (RPA), and AI-driven automation.

Some types of business automation include the following:

  • Basic automation: Basic automation takes simple tasks and automates them. Using little or no coding, automation software digitizes repetitive work — helping to eliminate errors and speed up the pace of transactional work. Business process management (BPM) and RPA are examples of basic automation.
  • Process automation: Business processes are automated for uniformity and transparency. Often handled by dedicated software, process automation can increase productivity and efficiency — while also delivering valuable business insights. Process mining and workflow automation are examples of process automation.
  • Advanced automation: Advanced automation brings together humans and machines to integrate multiple systems across the organization. Supporting more complex processes, advanced automation relies on unstructured data coupled with machine learning, natural language processing, and analysis. It promotes knowledge management and decision support for specialized work.
  • Intelligent automation: Driven by AI, intelligent automation means that machines can “learn” and make decisions based on situations they have encountered and analyzed. For example, in customer service, virtual assistants powered by AI can reduce costs while enabling smarter interactions between customers and human agents. The result is a better customer service experience.

Benefits of business automation

In today’s fast-paced environment, business automation is essential. Predicting which client habits will remain post-pandemic can be difficult, for example, from wildly changing demand to increased health and safety concerns. However, one thing you can control is how you manage the client experiences you produce. Automation, particularly automation mixed with AI, can aid in the correction or refinement of these experiences, resulting in more sales, improved resource utilization, and higher customer happiness.

One of the best ways to do this is through an automation platform that helps you do the following:

Discover processes: Pinpoint inefficiencies or hotspots in your operations to help determine where automated processes can provide the greatest impact. This involves process mining and modeling.

Apply intelligence: Use the data from automating your operations with machine learning and AI to recommend actions and free up people for more strategic tasks.

Augment your workforce: Build RPA tools and deploy digital workers to collaborate with humans wherever a higher level of productivity can be achieved or when the backup is needed.

Automate core operations: Apply core automation capabilities — document processing, workflow orchestration, decision management, and content services — to key operational areas to meet business needs.

The role of business automation in digital transformation

Businesses have been talking about digital transformation for quite some time. Many organizations see the advantages of digitization, but often struggle to maintain momentum in implementing solutions. The cost of producing software, which is sometimes unique to each firm, has long been a major issue. The 2020 Covid-19 epidemic has prompted an increasing number of firms to commit to accelerating their digital transformation initiatives. This is primarily due to the requirement for efficiency in order to continue growing and, in some cases, survive. Automation is critical in these firms for lowering costs, increasing efficiency, and increasing customer and employee satisfaction. Business leaders may ensure that their digital transformation goals are met by automating manual operations, which are generally paper-based.

Common uses of business automation

Business automation is well-suited for streamlining processes across just about every area of an organization:   

Marketing activities: Companies can use email marketing automation software to send emails to a customer distribution list on a predetermined timetable, saving money over manually running campaigns. Marketing efforts can be integrated with a customer relationship management (CRM) system, allowing you to send automated messages to customers through social media.

Human resources: Job application processing, interview scheduling, employment offers, onboarding, payroll management, and benefits administration are all tasks that human resource management systems may automate. These technologies can also provide insights into labor productivity via analytics.

Sales processes: Sales automation solutions like Salesforce and other Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tools allow sales teams to spend less time tracking deal-related activity and more time closing deals. 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 vital duties like analysis, strategy, and cooperation with stakeholders by automating financial planning and accounting procedures. For example, data capture is automated in accounts payable (AP) administration, bills are automatically matched to documents, and approvals are automatically routed. Background controls, lower data inaccuracies and helps to avoid fraud.