What Is Business Process Automation
Workflow automation can be defined as a process that makes the flow of data, documents, and tasks work independently based on some predefined business rules. It is an excellent and inexpensive tool for growing a young business. Literally, automation allows you to increase your company’s revenue. If you look at it from a workflow perspective, there are always tasks that need to be completed during the day. A certain amount of jobs that employees can perform is always limited by time, day of the week, and other factors.
However, if a company has analyzed all its processes and tracked the most repetitive tasks, it can automate them. Automated work processes have a number of advantages:
- They work while employees aren’t working.
- They work without the involvement of managers or the company owner.
- They reduce costs.
- They save time.
- They allow you to build parallel processes.
- They reduce the human factor that can negatively impact processes.
- They improve customer service, making it easy and round-the-clock.
- They help collect data and produce analytics.
Intelligent automation leads to financial results.
Types of Business Process Automation
One can record all the business income and expenses in a notebook and count them on a calculator. Or one can use an accounting system that automatically uploads money flows into a bank account, generating, sending, or paying invoices.
Automating business processes is possible in any business. It helps save time and scale the company.
Workflow automation software allows organizations to move from manual communication and work management to a more organized and efficient automated process.
Company workflow automation tools can come in different forms, cover various activities, be separate or combined, and work for a single employee or an entire corporation. It all depends on the specific needs of the company.
We can divide them into two large groups:
- Personal Workflow Automations.
- Business Workflow Automations.
Although personal and business automations are designed to solve the same business problems, they have significant differences, which we will discuss below.
5 Major Differences between Personal Vs. Business Workflow Automation
Business workflow automation is the highest level of automation which implies the transfer of all control and management functions to tools. The implementation of automation is quite a labor-intensive process that requires a long time and high financial costs, so businesses that do not have sufficient financial resources can automate their enterprise partially – to implement Personal Workflow Automations.
Personal automation, in some ways, acts as a robot. Therefore, this tool is excellent where it is necessary to simulate user interaction with a computer application, to perform some simple repetitive function.
The original function of business process automation is to standardize work processes that already have paper documentation. Automation objects can be events, tasks, decision schemes, etc.
Personal automation operates at the graphical user interface level, so it does not require any specific skills from the user.
But business process automation is developed as software or a whole platform to manage the workflow from start to finish. It means that employees have to learn and adapt their processes to specific standards.
Implementation Speed Difference
Personal automation has the advantage of very quick implementation since often there are a lot of off-the-shelf solutions that can be easily integrated into a company’s system of operation and cause little difficulty in mastering them.
Business processes may require research and analysis of business needs, as well as custom software development, which generally takes longer. With centralized, structured, and unduplicated data, companies can apply artificial intelligence techniques to improve efficiency and improve decision-making. This scenario leads us directly to intelligent automation.
Personal process automation is a more lightweight tool, often based on low-code or zero-code platforms, and therefore costs substantially less.
At the same time, the automation of business processes involves painstaking work with code, which means the involvement of professional programmers or a whole team, respectively, increasing the cost of development.
For personal automation tools, it’s critical to have structured data at the input and in-process.
Business workflow automation involves orchestrating data, users, and systems at all stages of business processes brought up to a certain standard.
Choosing the Workflow Automations Right
It is incorrect for an enterprise to adjust to a program. Instead, the software must adapt to the enterprise, its methods of operation, and its needs. Unfortunately, decision-makers often stall the process of integrating workflow automation due to doubt and misunderstanding of why invest in something that already works. Or conversely, they tend to innovate where there is no established routine or significant data flow to do so.
Some standard decision requirements to use automation in the workflow include the following:
- When the task is repetitive.
- When automation will increase the efficiency of a number of simple tasks.
- When tasks must be completed accurately and without the possibility of personal mistake.
To use this tool effectively, we recommend checking the rating of the developer or proposed solution. An ISO 9000 certificate guarantees a quality management system, that the service will meet the client’s expectations, and that the interaction and information transfer will be safe.
It is mandatory to study implementation cases and customer feedback, and study tools used by competitors.
It is also important to pay attention to the timing of automation implementation. This process should not take much time and should not be stretched for years. Over the years, business personnel and management, the market, conditions, and work processes can change. Automated processes aim to speed up work, not slow it down.
Workflow automation is a simple process that should be incorporated into daily activities and workflows as a way to improve overall productivity.
Implementing automation systems’ primary role is to increase efficiency, mobility, and ease of work for employees. Thanks to these changes, the market competitiveness level rises, and the resource base is effectively used.
Robyn McBride is a journalist, tech critic, author of articles about software, AI and design. She is interested in modern image processing, tech trends and digital technologies. Robyn also works as a proofreader at Computools.